China is to let foreign media investors take stakes in Chinese production companies for the first time. The new policy, allowing foreigners to own as much as 49% of entertainment ventures, will take effect on November 28, the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT) said on its Web site. The change ease access for media giants such as Viacom, Disney and News Corp., all of whom have been in talks with Chinese partners on establishing programming ventures. Ventures taking advantage of the new regulations must use "China themes" in two-thirds of their output, SARFT said. China is the world's biggest TV market in terms of viewers and the government is looking to boost revenue for domestic broadcasters, increase and improve locally-produced programs and put Chinese TV production on a more commercial footing.
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