World-leading music giant Universal Music Group (UMG) announced a significant expansion of its recorded music operations in China on Monday with the launch and relaunch of multiple labels.
Universal Music Greater China (UMGC), a division of UMG, revealed that the expansion includes the establishment of a multi-label structure, featuring new flagship labels and an intensified focus on domestic AR and local-language artists within the region. UMGC's all-star artist roster already includes some of China's most acclaimed artist talent like Jacky Cheung, Eason Chan, Wu Bai, Stefanie Sun, and Van Ness Wu.
As the first major music company to establish multiple frontline label operations across China, UMG's move marks an acceleration of its investment in local artists through the establishment of several distinct labels: Republic Records China, EMI China, PolyGram Records China, and Universal Music China. Each label will operate independently with its own dedicated artists, AR, and specialist marketing teams.
Republic Records China is the first international division of leading U.S. label Republic Records and will be headed by newly joined and experienced senior executive Tony Wen. Universal Music China (UMC), helmed by managing director Garand Wu, will be relaunched to represent some of the country's most exciting domestic talent. In addition, the label will be home to China's acclaimed classics and jazz division, as well as the Magic Muses label, China's first label dedicated to film soundtracks and scores.
Mei Yeh, the executive overseeing UMG's Taiwan business, will lead EMI China's relaunch, marking the beginning of a new era for the legendary label that has been an integral part of China's musical legacy for more than a century. Polygram Records China will relaunch under the leadership of Hong Kong-based Duncan Wong with a dedicated AR and marketing team based in Beijing, alongside additional resources in Hong Kong, leveraging the successes in Cantopop that PolyGram achieved in the region over the past half century.
Sunny Chang, chairman CEO of UMGC, said, We are proud to announce that after 15 years of development in the local market, Universal Music is once again demonstrating its commitment to the Chinese creative community by becoming the first international major music company to launch multi-label operations here.
I believe under the new structure of four distinct labels, the star team at UMGC will be able to better support local musicians in a way that is more professional and comprehensive. With an innovative and pioneering spirit, UMGC will develop rising stars from the Chinese market and promote Chinese pop music so that it can be heard by an audience around the world, Chang continued.
According to the company's plan, under the multi-label structure, UMGC will focus on developing new innovative strategies to support the new labels. All labels under UMGC will work with local digital partners in content licensing and creative marketing alongside UMG's global network of platforms and partners to support the growing international popularity of Chinese music around the world. In August 2020, UMG led the industry by entering into landmark content licensing agreements with both Tencent Music Entertainment Group and NetEase Cloud Music – two of the largest domestic music streaming services in China – as well as working with major digital partners across the region under their UMGC imprint.