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CNBC moves presenter Akiko Fujita to Hong Kong in newsroom expansion

Media giant CNBC is to ramp up its coverage of China with a series of additions to its Hong Kong newsroom.

While other broadcasters such as Turner have made attempts to divert away from the market, CNBC is to move one of its most prominent faces, presenter Akiko Fujita, from Singapore to Hong Kong.

Fujita will join CNBC veteran Bernie Lo  in presenting the company’s morning show, Squawk Box.

She will be joined by online journalist Uptin Saiidi, who is also based in Singapore, and market correspondent Kelly Gerard Olsen, who recently joined the company from Agence France-Presse in Tokyo.

Neither Fujita or Saiidis’ roles will be replaced in Singapore.

The moves as CNBC’s online traffic from Hong Kong  grew by 93 per cent year-on-year from January 2017. Singapore’s meanwhile grew by 44 per cent. Together with the UK and Germany, the markets contributed to more than a quarter of CNBC’s international traffic.

Speaking to Mumbrella about the moves, the company’s VP of international digital and strategic partnerships Michael Kearns said: “Hong Kong is one of the world’s biggest financial centres and we want to be able to tell those stories in a more in-depth way.

“People come to us when there’s an increased amount of volatility and two weeks ago when we saw a number of Asian markets sinking, we had record traffic.

“We want to be in a position to report on stories such as how the the US economy, with rising interest rates and the unwinding of quantitative easing, affects markets around the world. And so it makes sense to strengthen our presence in Hong Kong, as one of the most important financial centres in the world.”

Roshan Vaswani, CNBC’s head of APAC news and programming added: “With China taking steps to open up its economy and implement financial reforms, interest in the Chinese market has increased exponentially around the world. In order to serve our audiences’ growing appetite and interest in China, we’re stepping up our commitment to Hong Kong and the China story to ensure we remain first in class.”

Earlier in February, Yolande Chee, CNBC’s senior booker and producer, joined the Hong Kong news desk from the network’s Sydney bureau. Chee has been a journalist at CNBC for more than ten years.

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