Just as the final auditions for JKT48 (the first overseas sister group of AKB48) are taking place on October 8-9 in Jakarta, Indonesia, producer Yasushi Akimoto announced on the Official AKB48 Blog that he will also be producing TPE48, the second overseas sister group, which will be based in Taipei, Taiwan. In Feburary, there were reports that TPE48 would debut summer of 2011, but there had been no further development since until this announcement.
Akimoto established AKB48 in 2005, holding auditions for a theatre-based idol girl group in Akibahara, Tokyo. The 60 girl idol group (comprised of Teams A, K, B, and 4), AKB48 made their official debut in 2006 with the single, "Sakura no Hanabiratachi." Since then, AKB48 has been met with immense popularity: the "48" Franchise grew with sister groups: SKE48 (Sakae, Nagoya), SDN48 ("adult idols"), NMB48 (Osaka), and HKT48 (Fukuoka).
JKT48 will announce their final members on October 9, have an official press conference in November, and debut by the end of 2011. TPE48 will begin auditions in early 2012 and have a debut as early as Summer 2012.
On October 4, Team A captain (as well as de facto captain of AKB48) Minami Takahashi made a visit to Jakarta to visit the auditioning hopefuls of JKT48, attend a meet-and-greet at Plaza Senayan, and make an appearance on Dashyat ("awesome" in Indonesian), an Indonesian music television show.
The "48" franchise has been met with extreme popularity overseas, as official AKB48 shops have opened in Taipei, Hong Kong, and Singapore. AKB48 members have previously visited these shops: member Mayu Watanabe's visit in June of this year caused a temporary closing of the shop in Taipei, and Takahashi visited the Singapore location on October 3. In Taiwan, AKB48 music and goods have totaled up to 66.6 billion in sales during the first half of 2011.