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Relativity Media Expands in China, Allies with Jiangsu Broadcasting

Relativity Media is expanding in the booming Chinese media market by forming a joint partnership with Jiangsu Broadcasting Corp. — with the Chinese multi-media concern making an equity investment in Ryan Kavanaugh’s studio.

The move comes at a time when China’s media businesses have been surging. Chinese box office hit $3.53 billion (RMB21.8 billion) in 2013, compared with RMB17 billion in 2012, according to official government data.

The alliance is aimed at developing, co-financing, co-producing and distributing movies and TV content for both the international and Chinese markets. Financial terms and project details were not disclosed.

“China is one of the world’s largest and fastest growing markets for every form of content, and Relativity has long been focused on expanding our footprint in this incredibly dynamic market,” Kavanaugh said in a statement. “The partnership with JSBC we announced today will further strengthen the robust foundation we have built in China.”

Relativity already owns distribution-financing entity SkyLand Entertainment, headquartered in Beijing. Originally launched as a joint venture between Relativity, IDG China Media Fund and SAIF Partners, SkyLand has become a subsidiary of  Relativity — which asserts that is has a “close relationship” with the government-run distributor Huaxia Film Distribution Co.

Recent Relativity films released in China include “Immortals,” “Mirror Mirror” and “Free Birds.”

Kavanaugh, CEO of Relativity, also said, “By collaborating with JSBC, we will deepen our relationship with the Chinese media and entertainment industry and provide a world-class platform from which to co-develop Chinese and international film, television, and sports content with one of the preeminent media companies in China.”

Bu Yu, president of JSBC, said, “Combining our distribution and content with Relativity’s will strengthen the formidable platforms of both our companies.”

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