CCE Announces Chinese Partnership

Clear Channel Entertainment has made a historic deal with China’s Beijing Gehua Cultural Development Group that will bring Western touring acts to China and facilitate world tours by Chinese artists.

The 50-year joint venture with the state-owned Gehua was announced March 7th at a news conference in New York City. CCE and Gehua will split ownership and profits 50/50, CCE China CEO Ed Cunningham said.

The new company will be called Gehua Clear Channel Entertainment & Sports Co. Ltd., and will have first right of refusal on promoting tours, shows and sporting events, managing venues and artists, merchandising, ticketing, sponsorships, staging, sound, lighting, and virtually all other aspects of live entertainment.

With an estimated population of 1.3 billion – including 355 million between the ages of 15 and 29 – the new company has its work cut out for it.

CCE officials have been negotiating for three years with Chinese political and cultural leaders. The new partnership will make touring China more practical and profitable, Cunningham said.

“It’s very expensive to go there for one event,” he said. “But if you can do multiple cities … that was really our goal.”

The company will be based in Beijing with offices in New York City and London.