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Chinese Entertainment Giant CMC Raises $1.5 Billion From Tencent and Alibaba

Firm recently bought newly-launched Pearl Studio, formerly known as Oriental DreamWorks, and has stakes in Imagine, CAA and Warner Bros.’ Flagship Entertainment.

China Media Capital Inc., (CMC), Li Ruigang’s expanding entertainment company and one of the leading players in the Middle Kingdom’s recent wave of entertainment investments, announced today it has raised $1.5 billion (10 billion yuan) in series A financing from Tencent Holdings, Alibaba Group, Chinese real estate developer Vanke and others, according to the Hollywood Reporter. The company now claims a post-funding valuation of $6 billion (40 billion yuan).

Li, the former head of Shanghai Media Group, founded CMC in 2006. The company now owns a number of entertainment and media related holdings in China, including CMC Pictures, its domestic and international distribution arm, in addition to its U.S. holdings.

In February, CMC took full ownership control of Oriental DreamWorks, the animation studio joint venture, formed in 2012, it had previously partnered in with Jeffrey Katzenberg, Shanghai Media Group and Shanghai Alliance Investment. The subsequently renamed Pearl Studio is currently in production on Abominable (formerly known as Everest), which is set for a fall 2019 release, as well as Over the Moon, a film being directed by the legendary animator Glen Keane in conjunction with Netflix, along with The Monkey King, Illumikitty, Lucky and Untitled Chinatown Project.

CMC has made a number of strategic entertainment investments in addition to Pearl, including leading talent agency CAA and it’s Beijing-based CAA China, Brian Grazer and Ron Howard’s Imagine Entertainment, Warner Bros.’ Chinese film studio joint venture Flagship Entertainment and China’s LEGO Park.

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Dan Sarto is Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network.