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Media & Entertainment

As one of the first PRC firms to specialize in media & entertainment, TransAsia has unparalleled experience in assisting clients to navigate this strictly regulated field.

Our firm enjoys a pre-eminent reputation for our work across both the traditional and emerging digital media and high-tech markets. These areas include television/film (co)production, motion pictures, the Internet, gaming, IPTV, content streaming, satellite broadcasts, advertising, print media, online publications, events and sports marketing.

Client Services

  • Drafting, negotiating and advising on transaction documentation for co-production projects (film and television)
  • Advising on financing arrangements
  • Establishing corporate entities tailored to the media and entertainment industry (including equity and cooperative joint ventures, wholly owned subsidiaries, domestic companies, and representative offices)
  • Advising on protection against illegal streaming and unauthorized transmissions and other intellectual property issues
  • Negotiating and documenting sponsorship arrangements
  • Assisting with online initiatives
  • Advising on regulatory and compliance issues
  • Structuring and negotiating licensing and distribution arrangements
  • Securing television broadcast landing rights

TransAsia also actively participated in the evolution of the film industry in the PRC, accumulating an unrivaled understanding of the regulatory environment and market practice, as well as in-depth market intelligence, and familiarity with all key market participants.

To date, we have advised on more than 150 movie projects, comprising both domestic productions and international blockbusters. In 2009, we were privileged to be retained by the China Film Group as its first exclusive General Counsel for all of its film co-production projects.

Representative Transactions

  • Appointed by Fox International Production in May 2011 as general counsel for its domestic projects, covering production, distribution, etc
  • Advised Imagi on the co-production of the animated film Astroboy
  • Advised China Cablecom (NASDAQ: CABL) on its cooperation with Chinese partners to establish a joint venture and obtain financing for an IPO, which created a new model for cooperation with Chinese TV stations in the cable TV industry
  • Negotiated the acquisition of a majority stake in Emma Entertainment on behalf of Ticketmaster
  • Advised Bonwin on the preparation of consulting agreement templates relating to advice on potential artwork purchases
  • PRC counsel to Walt Disney for film and television co-productions (live action and animated), including High School Musical (China) and advised them on new media market initiatives
  • Advised Reed Elsevier on print and electronic distribution agreements
  • Appointed by China Film Group in September 2009 as general counsel for all its co-production projects, including to date the City of Life and Death (or Nanking! Nanking!), Bodyguards and Assassins and Confucius
  • Advised IMG on its joint venture with CCTV for events management and athlete representation
  • General counsel to Gruner+Jahr for its magazine and book co-publishing arrangements with several PRC partners, as well as general corporate matters
  • Advised Mtime.com (China's largest movie website) on multiple venture capital financing rounds involving well-known international funds
  • Negotiated copyright licensing agreements with sports publishers throughout Europe, Asia and South America on behalf of Titan (Sports Weekly), China's premier sports newspaper
  • Acted as PRC counsel for Bertelsmann for the establishment of China's first Sino-foreign book distribution joint venture
  • Advised on Red Cliff, a Sino-foreign film co-production by John Woo
  • Represented Ruddy Morgan on the co-production of films and television dramas with local partners, including the films Perhaps Love, Protégé and Warlords
  • Acted as PRC counsel for J&J Productions on The Forbidden Kingdom, starring Jackie Chan and Jet Li
  • Advised TVSN on its various home shopping projects with television stations nationwide as well as its exit from a joint venture in Wuhan
  • Represented China Cablecom (NASDAQ: CABL) in the establishment of its corporate structure and subsequent investments in China
  • Acted for the Beijing Reignwood Theatre in negotiating and signing a contract for Maestro Placido Domingo to serve as its artistic advisor

Government and Public Advisory Work

We are often invited by government agencies to comment on, and provide official English translations of, new legislation, as well as research new areas of law.  These agencies include the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the State Administration for Radio, Film and Television (SARFT), the General Administration of Press and Publication, the State Administration of Industry and Commerce and the State Council Information Office.

For example, TransAsia has been invited to advise the SARFT on issues such as foreign investment, the international regulation of IPTV, international laws and industry best practices relating to copyright licensing for broadcast content, and on the regulation of television shopping and advertising in overseas jurisdictions.

TransAsia also monitors popular video websites in the PRC to detect new types of content and new restrictions or capabilities that are being built into such content (such as software or subscription structures). In cooperation with leading academics, we are thus able to lobby with the judiciary and government agencies to push for much-needed amendments to current copyright law on behalf of our clients.

Our firm has active programs designed to promote a higher degree of mutual understanding between international media companies and Chinese regulators.  We regularly conduct workshops for our clients and prepare special reports on important legal issues. Recent topics have included television shopping and online piracy.

Publications

China's Media & Entertainment Law

With contributions from senior government officials and the endorsement of the SARFT and other key regulators, in 2003 and 2006 we published the first and second volumes of China's Media and Entertainment Law, respectively. This book is the first and only publication of its kind, and serves as an authoritative reference guide.  It contains translations of key legislation, and in-depth commentaries. A third edition is currently being produced and is due to be released in 2012.

Other Publications

  • 2009: We were invited by the SARFT to produce the official English translations of regulations for its publication, China's Laws and Regulations for Radio, Film and Television, a compilation of 47 essential pieces of legislation for the Chinese radio, film and television industry.
  • 2007: TransAsia collaborated with Niko Partners to release a report titled China's Videogame Industry Regulatory Landscape.  The report details the regulations, policies and processes for launching an online or traditional offline videogame in China and is a critical read for any company wishing to enter China's games market.
  • 1998: Philip Qu, a senior partner at TransAsia, co-authored Cable TV in China, a Financial Times management report detailing the regulatory development of the Chinese cable television sector.

Representative Clients

  • Australia Networks
  • Bertelsmann
  • CAA
  • CCTV
  • Celestial Pictures
  • China Broadband
  • China Cablecom
  • China Film Group
  • China Networks
  • CNBC
  • CNN
  • Electronic Arts
  • Forbes
  • Fortune
  • Gruner + Jahr
  • Hasbro Studios
  • IAC (Ticketmaster)
  • Imagi
  • IMG
  • J&J Productions
  • Liberty Global
  • Lion Rock Productions (John Woo)
  • McGraw-Hill
  • News Corporation (Star TV and Dow Jones)
  • Reed Elsevier
  • Reignwood Group
  • Ruddy Morgan
  • SARFT
  • The Walt Disney Company
  • Time Warner (CNN, Time and Turner Broadcasting)
  • Titan Sports
  • TVSN
  • Viacom
  • Warner Bros.
  • Working Title