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Universal to Open China Office

Universal Pictures taps veteran Hollywood studio executive Jo Yan to serve as managing director and executive vice president of its China operations.

Universal Pictures has tapped veteran Hollywood studio executive Jo Yan to serve as managing director and executive vice president of its China operations, according to a report by The Hollywood Reporter.

While his duties will be numerous, his first priority will be to open the studio's new office in Beijing. Yan will head up the studio's growing co-production efforts, as well as oversee theatrical and digital distribution. Universal's Fast & Furious 6 and Illumination Entertainment's Despicable Me 2 were huge hits in China and the next installments open there next year, along with Jurassic World.

Yan also will work closely with the studio's consumer products group, as well as assist Illumination Entertainment in growing its presence in China and identify companies that can provide animation services. Finally, Yan will help establish strategic goals for Universal parent company NBC Universal and Comcast.

The hire was announced by Universal Pictures International distribution president Duncan Clark.

Yan, who will relocate from Shanghai to Beijing, has spent the past two decades working for the Walt Disney Company, including a role as senior VP distribution for greater China. He began his career in the film industry in 1990 when joining the Asia regional office of Orion Pictures.