Music Label May Be At The Center Of Another US-China Spat

By Bryan Grogan, June 26, 2019

0 0

Taylor Swift, or ‘Moldy’ as she is known in China, has become the talk of another US-China debate as Tencent are apparently in talks to take a minority stake in Swift’s record label Universal Music Group (UMG). The massive music label is also the home of Lady Gaga, Kendrick Lamar and Ariana Grande (archnemesis of Kris Wu), and is reportedly up for sale. 

According to a report by Bloomberg, French company Vivendi, the parent company of UMG, is floating a partial sale of the label (up to as much as 50%), and has reportedly held talks with Tencent Holdings Ltd. 

While any sale to the Chinese streaming giant is still very much up in the air, a deal with Tencent does make sense for UMG in targeting the huge Chinese market. UMG strengthened it’s presence in China and Asia earlier this year with a number of China-based senior management hires. 

Explainer: Why Taylor Swift's Chinese Nickname is Moldy

However, the sale could attract the scrutiny of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the US (CFIUS), which previously forced Beijing Kunlun Tech Co., Ltd. to sell gay dating app Grindr earlier this year.

Privacy concerns in the US, especially in regards to investment from foreign companies, have starkly risen over the past few years. US Congress members have reportedly been pushing to allow the CFIUS more power, while Donald Trump has previously been accused of using US insititutions as pawns in the ongoing trade war between the US and China.

UMG is considered one of the three largest music companies in the world, alongside Sony Music and Warner Music Group. Talk of Vivendi seeking a minority investor in UMG was previously reported by Reuters in February of this year, though according to quotes collected by Bloomberg, the French company have been slow in making any sort of deal, with one analyst speculating that the attention drawn from the potential of a partial sale may help Vivendi’s stock price. 

READ MORE: US Deems Grindr's Chinese Parent Company 'National Security Risk’

[Cover image via @taylorswift/Instagram]

more news

4 Online Music Shows to Jam Out With On Valentine's Day

Online music streams are moving in the age of the novel coronavirus.

Gavin Wong Talks Online Radio, Hong Kong Music and Driving Scenes Forward

We spoked to Hong Kong Community Radio founder Gavin Wong about the importance of online radio stations in China's music scene.

Cloak Radio Founder Bl1nk Talks Chengdu Music and Radio Culture

Cloak radio founder Bl1nk has been witness to seismic change in the Chengdu underground.

Live Beijing Music Founder Will Griffith is Bidding Beijing Adieu

Will Griffith has been at the forefront of documenting the weird and wonderful underground music scenes in Beijing for the better part of the past decade.

5 New Chinese Music Labels We're Hyped for in 2020

We’re excited to see what 2020 has in store for these five labels.

Cookie Zhang Talks Building a Camp and a Culture with Eating Music

"I think building a label is harder than building a record store. With a record store, you can learn from what people purchase, but a label can’t learn from anyone else."

Hand in Hand International Children's Music Festival Tickets On Sale Now

Hand in Hand International Children’s Music Festival is China’s premier international music festival meant for the whole family.

Check out the Highlights of This Year’s Clockenflap Music Festival

Flop out with your clock out! Or something like that.

0 User Comments

In Case You Missed It…

We're on WeChat!

Scan our QR Code at right or follow us at thatsonline for events, guides, giveaways and much more!

7 Days in China With thatsmags.com

Weekly updates to your email inbox every Wednesday

Subscribe

Download previous issues

Never miss an issue of That's Magazines!

Visit the archives

Get the App. Your essential China city companion.