Time Warner and China Media Capital partner up

NEW YORK (AP) -- Time Warner Inc. is teaming up with China Media Capital, a Chinese investment firm specializing in media and entertainment, to help boost its presence in the entertainment market there.

The companies announced the partnership in China on Thursday.

Time Warner and CMC said the goal is to capitalize on China's rapidly expanding media sector and increasing demand. The U.S. company is one of several to strike deals to tap into the fast-growing but tightly controlled market.

Legendary Entertainment, maker of "The Hangover" franchise, said last week that it is working with state-owned China Film Group to produce more global movies. Last year, Disney said that it would make "Iron Man 3" in partnership with a Chinese company.

For decades, China has capped the number of foreign films it allows into the country but recently loosened some control. It is now allowing more companies in through joint-ventures with Chinese companies and also allowing them to keep a bigger chunk of their movie ticket revenue.

Time Warner Chairman and CEO Jeff Bewkes said in a statement that China is one of the most attractive territories in which the company operates, but he noted its complexity. He said the partnership will give Time Warner a savvy and accomplished partner to help it reach consumers there.

The U.S. company did not disclose the value of the deal but the Wall Street Journal, citing unnamed sources, reports that it represents a $50 million investment by Time Warner. A representative for Time Warner was not immediately available to comment.

CMC has invested in a number of media and entertainment related deals. That includes DreamWorks Animation's Chinese joint venture and CMC's acquisition of Star China from News Corp.

The companies said that the Chinese media and entertainment market is among the largest and fastest growing in the world.

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