Media giant Viacom said it planned to launch its first Chinese TV production joint venture in the first quarter of 2005, kicking off a new phase in its expansion into the Chinese market. The announcement follows a ruling earlier this month from the State Administration of Radio, Film, and TV Commission (SARFT) allowing foreign companies to take a 49% ownership in production JVs with Chinese companies. The Viacom tie-up with Shanghai Media Group, which will own 51% of the venture, was first announced in March but had to wait for the regulatory changes before proceeding. Viacom China boss Li Yifei said the JV, to be named Orient Nickelodeon, was expected to grow quickly and surpass the company's MTV channel in terms of revenue earnings. She said the initial registered capital of the company would be US$2m.
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