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UMG'S BIG CHINA PLAY

UMG has launched its first international label division, opening Republic Records China in Beijing. The launch is part of a significant expansion of UMG’s recorded-music operations in China, with a new, multi-label structure. UMG becomes the first major music company to establish multiple frontline label operations across China.

Tony Wen has been appointed Managing Director, Republic Records China, effective immediately; he will report to Sunny Chang, Chairman & CEO, Universal Music China. Wen has significant experience in the Chinese music and media industries as a producer and Sony Music executive.

Said Republic Records founder Chairman/CEO Monte Lipman, “This initiative recognizes the extraordinary growth in the Chinese marketplace, which has made a tremendous impact on our industry worldwide. We’re thrilled to see the launch of Republic Records in China, led by the brilliant leadership team of Tony and Sunny.”

The new structure will focus on domestic A&R and local-language artists, with Republic Records China positioned alongside EMI China, PolyGram Records China and Universal Music China. Each will operate independently, with their own dedicated artist rosters, A&R and marketing teams. 

Universal Music China will be relaunched under the leadership of Garand Wu, Managing Director, Universal Music China. It will boast two of the biggest breakthrough artists of 2020, Li Nong Chen and Sunnee. The label will also continue to represent UMG’s international artist repertoire, which includes Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande and Billie Eilish. It will further be home to the classics and jazz division, which spans Deutsche Grammophon and DeccaMagic Muses, a label dedicated to film soundtracks and scores; and such Chinese talent as Lang Lang and Yuja Wang

EMI China will be reconfigured under Mei Yeh, who will continue to serve as Managing Director, Universal Music Taiwan. Based in Beijing, EMI China’s A&R and marketing team will report to Mei and focus on developing new talent.

Leveraging its success in Cantopop, Polygram Records China will see new life under the leadership of Duncan Wong, who will remain Manager Director, Universal Music Hong Kong. Its A&R and marketing team will also be based in the Chinese capital, with additional resources in Hong Kong.

“Universal Music is once again demonstrating its commitment to the Chinese creative community, this time by becoming the first major international music company to launch multi-label operations here,” Chang said. “Universal Music veterans Garand, Duncan and Mei are all highly respected in the Chinese music market. I am very pleased to welcome Tony Wen—an experienced senior executive in the music industry who established his career in the local market—to the amazing UMGC team. His insight into the Chinese music market will bring indispensable value.

“I believe under the new structure of four distinct labels, the star team at UMGC will be better able to support local musicians. With an innovative and pioneering spirit, UMGC will develop rising stars from the Chinese market and promote Chinese pop music so it can be heard by an audience around the world.”

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