Li Ruigang, the chairman of China Media Capital, has been given the green light to be appointed as a non-executive director of Television Broadcasts (TVB,) Hong Kong's leading free-to-air TV group.His appointment comes despite Li being a 'disqualified person' under Hong Kong's broadcasting laws. Li is considered as ineligible due to his connections to the advertising industry and to his role in mainland China's media sector. His appointment therefore had to be approved by Hong Kong's Chief Executive.In a statement on...
Hong Kong’s media enjoyed a whiff of controversy earlier this year when Li Ruigang, a mainlander who was a “disqualified person” under local regulations, was permitted to become chairman of the territory’s iconic broadcaster TVB.
The problem: he has too many connections. Hugely admired, Li is possibly also the Chinese media entrepreneur with the most links in Hollywood too. Having started as a TV producer at Shanghai TV, by the tender age of 42 he had turned Shanghai Media Group into a commercially-oriented powerhouse and risen to become its president.
By 2012 he carefully started to step away from SMG – -while still maintaining his party political rank — as he set up China Media Capital, one of China’s first media-focused private equity groups. International media players including Time Warner, 21st Century Fox, WPP, and Ratpac Entertainment provided CMC with several rounds of capital, while investment bank Raine brought in international deals, including CMC’s stake in Imagine Entertainment. Not coincidentally, Imagine and TVB set set a $100 million TV production financing venture in April 2017.
That same month, Li engineered a deal to take a minority stake in CAA as part of the formation of CAA China, which should expand opportunities for U.S.-Sino co-productions.
CMC and TVB are partnered with Warner Bros in Chinese movie producer Flagship Entertainment, while CMC is also a partner with Dreamworks in Oriental Dreamworks (“Kung Fu Panda 3”) and the $3.1 billion Dream Center opening in Shanghai in 2017.
While CMC now includes some 80 portfolio companies, and has split itself in two, under Li both halves maintain a tight focus on building a new content and technology giant. Owning enough of Manchester City soccer club to get a seat on the board and a corporate box is icing on the cake.