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China-Hollywood “Gatekeeper” Han Sanping Confirms Departure From China Film Group

By | Tuesday March 18, 2014 @ 5:56am PDT

han-sanping__140107142000-275x157Chinese media is reporting that influential executive Han Sanping has officially said he has stepped down as chairman of China Film Group. I reported exclusively in early January that there were management shifts at the top ranks of the Chinese film business, notably that a decision had been made around January 1 for Han to leave his post at CFG. Han himself has now told local press that he has stepped aside, saying that at 60 he has reached retirement age. Han is expected to go on to run a large film fund and act as a consultant to CFG. The state-owned group controls distribution in China and is the key to getting foreign movies into the country since it alone has the right to import them. It is also the biggest producer of local films and co-productions. In his role as chairman of CFG, Han has been referred to as the “gatekeeper” between Hollywood and China. His power and influence have been described as that of Jack Valenti, Lew Wasserman, and Steven Spielberg all rolled into one. However, in January, I was told that Han had largely become a figurehead and hadn’t been involved in major policymaking for “more than a year.” He will be succeeded by CFG deputy chairman LA Peikang and vice chairman Jiao Hongfen, both of whom are already known to Hollywood.

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Is China-Hollywood “Gatekeeper” Han Sanping Segueing Out At China Film Group Amid Big Changes Atop Local Biz?

chinaflag2__130403012941EXCLUSIVE: As Hollywood continues to learn the ropes in China, I’m hearing that there are a host of big management shifts coming at the upper echelons of the Chinese film business. There have been rumors for some time that China Film Group senior management would change or retire this year, and I’m now told that some moves have been made, while others could be imminent. The biggest involves influential Chinese executive Han Sanping. I’ve heard that a decision for him to step down as chairman of China Film han sanpingGroup was made around New Year’s Day. The state-owned CFG essentially controls distribution in China and is the key to getting foreign movies into the country since it alone has the right to import them. It is also the biggest producer of local films and co-productions. In his role as chairman of CFG, Han has been referred to as the “gatekeeper” between Hollywood and China. (China film industry expert Robert Cain once wrote of him, “If you took Jack Valenti, Lew Wasserman, and Steven Spielberg and rolled them into one, you’d begin to get an idea of Han’s power and influence in China.”) At age 60, it’s understood he’s been eyeing a move. This is not an ousting, I’m told. Rather, I hear Han will go on to run a large film fund … Read More »

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