130218-sinjiPhoenix Commercial Ventures, one of North Korea’s few domestic/foreign IT joint ventures, has reacquired rights to the Sinji brand, trademark and associated intellectual property rights, it said Monday.

Sinji was launched in 2005 as a software development company as a 50/50 joint venture with the Korea Committee for the Promotion of External Economic Cooperation (CPEEC), which reports to directly to the Cabinet.

Phoenix sold off its half stake in the business in November 2010 to an unnamed buyer.

With today’s announcement, the Sinji brand and associated rights are back in the hands of Phoenix, although the company isn’t saying what it plans to do with them.

“Phoenix Commercial Ventures Ltd will issue further updates as to the intended future operations and direction of the newly acquired Sinji brand,” it said in a statement that was issued in London.

At one point, Sinji had big ambitions to become a major player in the computer operating system market and a leading international brand. One of its stated goals was to “become the leading Linux group in the international market, through the development of high-security OS and related software.”

But that never happened.

The company was also promoting several software packages that handled work like facial recognition, voice signal processing and optical character recognition.

While Sinji kept a foot in the IT sector, it also diversified. Upon its sale in late 2010, the company’s business consisted of the following areas:

  • Retail (consumer electronics, household necessities)
  • Software (eg the innovative web based e-learning platform, learnwithelsi)
  • Artificial flower manufacturing for export
  • SKD assembly/retail: Renewable energy products (eg small capacity wind turbine generators)