CMC’s Li to helm HK icon Shaw
Film brand unveils grand dream to globalize ‘Chinese-language cultural industries’
Li Ruigang, chairman of China Media Capital, has been appointed chairman and non-executive director of Shaw Brothers, Hong Kong’s iconic producer and distributor of films.
Two otherCMCgroup executives join Li at Shaw. Jiang Wei, managing director of Gravity Pictures, a unit of CMC that distributes film in the Chinese mainland, has been appointed executive director of Shaw. Thomas Hui, president, executive director and chief strategy officer of CMC Holdings, CMC’s strategic investment arm, will join Shawas non-executive director.
The trio will take the places of Allan Yap, chairman, and GuJiong andWong KaChing, directors, respectively, who are leaving Shaw to pursue other “commitments”.
Li’s rise to the top of Shawis aimed at rejuvenating the most famous brand in the Chinese-language film industry so it could gain a prominent global presence, industry observers said.
Shaw is jointly held by TVB andCMCHoldings, with each owning a 24.65 percent stake as of June.
“Teaming withTVB, CMCis looking to revive the legendary brand of Shaw Brothers, which marks a milestone for the development of Chineselanguage cultural industries,” Li told media in Hong Kong on Thursday.
At the event, he unveiled his ambitious road map for the partnership for the coming year.
“Looking ahead, CMC will continue to beef up its investment in Hong Kong’s mediarelated business. The city’s burgeoning pool of talent, established industry structure, the world-renowned rule of law and the sophisticated capital market all pave the way for the local film industry to stage a comeback,” Li said.
Founded in Hong Kong back in the 1950s, Shaw Brothers has long been hailed as the poster child of the territory’s once-thriving movie industry and the cradle of the region’s movie talents.
The tie-up between TVB with CMC goes back to April last year, when CMC bought into Young Lion Holdings, which indirectly holds 26 percent of voting shares in TVB.
The investment marks the very first time a major mainland player has access to a controlling stake Kong’s dominant broadcaster.
The pair joined hands with Warner Brothers Entertainment to set up Flagship Entertainment Group in March, betting on the production and distribution of Chinese-language films for a growing international audience. The alliance’s first batch of 12 Chinese movies is in the pipeline.
Li’s rise to the top of Shaw Brothers, and his recent moves, could deepen CMC’s cooperation with TVB, industry observers said.
Dubbed “China’s Rupert Murdoch”, Li foundedCMCin Shanghai in 2011 to invest in media, entertainment, film and sports sectors in and outside China. in Hong free-to-air
Li Ruigang, chairman of CMC, and now Shaw Brothers