×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

China Media Capital Trio Takes Control at Iconic Shaw Brothers

Li Ruigang and two fellow executives from his China Media Capital group have taken three directorial positions at iconic Hong Kong studio Shaw Brothers.

The company made famous by Sir Run Run Shaw was once a dominant force in Hong Kong and Asian cinema, but largely ceased film production in 1987. Today, however, the company holds a key 26% stake in Television Broadcasts (TVB), Hong Kong’s leading free-to-air TV broadcaster and owner of one of the largest Chinese language rights catalogs in the world.

Li has been appointed chairman and non-executive director of Shaw. He is joined by Jiang Wei, MD of the CMC-owned mainland Chinese film distributor Gravity Pictures, who is appointed an executive director of Shaw. Also joining is Thomas Hui, president, chief strategy officer and executive director of CMC Holdings, who will be an non-executive director.

They replace chairman Allan Yap, and directors Gu Jiong and Wong Ka Ching, who are all resigning due to other “heavy work commitments” elsewhere.

The appointments further increase the control of Li and his CMC team over TVB, following Li’s appointment as chairman of TVB last week. That appointment added to some industry concerns that mainland Chinese interests are dominating Hong Kong’s supposedly unrestricted media not through censorship or central government control, but by economic ownership instead. Another high profile example was the acquisition earlier this year of the South China Morning Post newspaper by Alibaba.

The executive appointments also further expand CMC’s control over the Flagship Entertainment Chinese film production venture with Warner Bros. CMC and TVB have a narrow majority of the shares and Gravity Pictures is set as the unit’s distributor in mainland China.

CMC also owns the Fortune Star library of films produced by Shaw’s arch rival Golden Harvest.

Boasting a Hong Kong stock market listing of its own, Shaw could now be positioned to become a far more active company than of late, either as a production company or as a vehicle for fund raising.

In its heyday, Shaw was responsible for iconic Hong Kong studio movie classics films including “One Armed Swordsman,” and “The 36th Chamber of Shaolin.” As the golden age of Hong Kong cinema waned, Shaw ended film production to concentrate for over a decade on television. In 2002 its film catalog – some 760 titles – were sold in 2002 to Malaysian billionaire Ananda Krishnan who used them to found Celestial Pictures, a company that now has a TV channels business with Lionsgate and Saban.

Shaw tentatively restarted film production in 2009 though volumes have been low. In the last year, it has been involved as a partner in two film adaptations of TVB series, that went on to become hits in mainland China. Its “Line Walker” recently earned $90.9 million, while “Triumph In The Skies” earned $24.6 million in 2015.

More Biz

  • Jennifer Lawrence Harvey Weinstein

    Harvey Weinstein Bragged of Sex With Jennifer Lawrence, Lawsuit Claims

    Harvey Weinstein was hit with a lawsuit Friday from an actress who claims he forcibly performed oral sex on her, repeatedly masturbated in front of her, and threatened to harm her career if she objected. According to the suit, Weinstein pushed her to the ground during a meeting in his office in 2013. He then [...]

  • Times Up Hollywood

    Time's Up Entertainment Announces New Industry Mentoring Initiative

    Time’s Up Entertainment, an affiliate of the Time’s Up coalition of women across industries working to improve workplace safety, has announced the “Who’s in the Room” industry mentoring initiative. The program’s goal is to increase the presence of people of color from diverse backgrounds in the entertainment industry’s executive ranks. Funded by a $500,000 grant from [...]

  • Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt in

    Paramount Inks Deal for Theme Park in South Korea

    Paramount Pictures has announced a deal to install a studio-branded theme park in an entertainment resort being developed in South Korea. The agreement was struck between Paramount and Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment, which owns the Inspire Integrated Entertainment Resort in the South Korean city of Incheon. Mohegan has invested KRW 2.8 trillion ($2.4 billion) in [...]

  • Davan Maharaj Mel Gibson

    L.A. Times Publisher's Lawyer Was Accused of Extorting Mel Gibson

    The attorney who negotiated a $2.5 million exit package for L.A. Times publisher Davan Maharaj was previously accused of using secret recordings to extort actor Mel Gibson. Surreptitious recordings also figure in the Maharaj case. NPR reported on Wednesday that Maharaj taped Tronc chairman Michael Ferro. According to the report, Ferro was heard on the [...]

  • 'Blurred Lines' Suit Ends With $5

    'Blurred Lines' Suit Ends With $5 Million Judgement Against Robin Thicke, Pharrell Williams

    After five years, the legal battle over the copyright of the Robin Thicke’s 2013 hit “Blurred Lines” has ended, with Marvin Gaye’s family being awarded a final judgment of nearly $5 million against the song’s primary writers, Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams, according to CNN and other reports. The pair were accused of copyright infringement [...]

  • WME Veteran Ari Greenburg Promoted to

    WME Veteran Ari Greenburg Promoted to President of Talent Agency

    WME veteran Ari Greenburg, one of the original Endeavor staffers who helped build the talent agency that became an industry powerhouse, has been promoted to president. Greenburg will oversee all daily operations across WME and its offices in Beverly Hills, New York, Nashville, London and Sydney. The promotion recognizes the role that Greenburg has played [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content