Li Ruigang has left his position as group president of Shanghai Media Group, China’s second largest media conglomerate. He will still continue in his role as chairman. A terse statement released on Tuesday on state-affiliated China Daily, “confirmed the removal” of Li and his successor Wang Jianjun. No reason was given although Li’s position as the chairman of the government-backed China Media Capital has led to local speculation that he is leaving to concentrate on the investment fund.
Li Ruigang has been one of the China film business’ most visible faces in dealing with Hollywood. Under Li’s stewardship, the state-owned Shanghai Media Group controls over a dozen radio stations, TV channels, paid for TV networks and publications. It also has a strategic relationship with Disney that includes the co-production of films and development of TV shows.
In November last year, Li oversaw a major restructuring, which saw Shanghai Media Group’s Internet TV company, BesTV, a Chinese partner of Microsoft, merge with its Shanghai Oriental Pearl business to create a giant new Internet and TV company called Shanghai Oriental Pearl New Media Co.
Li is still likely to have significant dealings Hollywood. China Media Capital is a partner alongside Shanghai Media Group in Oriental Dreamworks with Jeffrey Katzenberg.
China Media Capital also raised an investment fund with partners including Warner Bros, WPP and RatPac, called the CMC Creative Fund.
CMC also has investments in companies including IMAX China and Star China TV, which owns the Fortune Star film library and three Star China TV channels previously owned by News Corp.