Unit makes deal to boost presence in China

Universal Music Group has pacted on two significant deals to boost its presence in mainland China.

UMG has signed an exclusive licensing agreement with Chinese record label Dong Music Intl. to develop and promote its roster of contemporary artists throughout the mainland and globally, and has also inked to promote and distribute Taiwanese pop artists signed to Linfair Records throughout China.

Universal said the focus of the first deal would be to break new Chinese artists: The partnership will bow with a compilation album, “Dong Le Yuan” (Dong Music Land), featuring 12 tracks by four singers and two bands. UMG also will stage a 20-city campus tour around China in September.

Beijing-based Dong Music was set up in 2006 by multihyphenate Zhang Yadong, who has worked with many of China’s top stars including singers Faye Wong, Pu Shu and Xu Wei and the band Catcher in the Rye.

Among the emerging talents in the Dong Music stable are warbler Zhang Shidi, band Fruity Vitamin C and singer-songwriter/novelist, Tian Yuan. Also on the books are model Chang Chunxiao and thesp Li Xiaoran.

Linfair is one of Taiwan’s top indie labels. Its artists include Angela Chang, Fan Fan, Claire Kuo and Freya Lin. Taiwanese pop music, or Mando-pop, is wildly popular on the mainland because Mandarin Chinese is spoken on both sides of the Taiwan Straits.

Universal has worked with Linfair since the 1960s. As well as selling in China, Universal Music will continue to distribute the Linfair Records catalog in Taiwan, as well as market, distribute and sell in Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines and Thailand.

It will continue the Decca Label Group license agreement with Linfair to manufacture, market and sell products in Taiwan.

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