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Shanghai: JV Weaves Media into Printing
China's first foreign-funded printing joint venture looks set to kick off later this year.

The venture is a result of strenuous negotiations between US-based R R Donnelley & Sons Co and Shanghai Press & Publishing Development Company affiliated with the Shanghai Press and Publications Administration.

"This is China's first attempt to co-operate with foreign media and printing investors after more than 20 years of opening up to the outside world," said Xu Guozhen, chief of the administration's Printing Management Division.

Xu said Donnelley is an early bird and the city hopes to run more such joint ventures with the world's influential media and printing giants.

He said the negotiations with German-based Bertelsmann is at a standstill due to the percentage of the investment. Under current Chinese law, foreign investors are not supposed to own more than 49 percent of a media-printing joint venture.

The US-funded venture costs US$29.5 million as its first-phase investment but the two sides are unwilling to give the investment percentage.

The venture, which is located in the city's Qingpu District, is scheduled to be put into soft operation in October. With an area of 6.7 hectares, it will use German machines to print books, yellow pages, magazines and catalogues. "But it will not become a big challenge to the domestic book and magazine printing industry," Xu said.

(China Daily June 17, 2002)

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