UK signs £325m deal with China to boost creative and technology industries

Number of partnerships in sectors including film, music and advanced engineering announced as Chinese delegation meets business leaders and members of the royal family.

A raft of creative and technological partnerships between the UK and China are being announced today as a Chinese delegation meets with top British business leaders and dignitaries.

One of the biggest projects involves BBC Worldwide (the commercial arm of the BBC) announcing that BBC Earth Films and SMG Pictures are to co-produce a new documentary feature film for cinematic release in 2017 – the first deal completed under the landmark Sino-UK Film Co-Production Treaty ratified by DCMS and SARFT in 2015.

The two companies are also announcing a deal to introduce the upcoming Sherlock Special to China, as part of a global cinema event (pending Chinese regulatory approval) and an MoU to co-produce Coast China, the third international version of the long running BBC series Coast.

BBC Worldwide also today announced a co-production agreement with CCTV 9, the documentary channel of China’s national TV network, for BBC natural history series, The Hunt.

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Meanwhile University of York has developed a £200million TV training programme. Working with China Capital Investment Group (CCIG), the programme will recruit up to 300 students a year from China and other countries and will be delivered in bespoke facilities on the York campus.

Other major partnerships include:

  • An £25million agreement between Future TV and Scottish company Distrify to distribute the best of Chinese content internationally.
  • ITVS Global Entertainment has signed an exclusive, multi-year deal with leading Chinese online video company LeTV for the Chinese broadcast rights to Poldark. The Mammoth Screen and Masterpiece-produced drama will join LeTV’s programming line-up in December.
  • The V&A, the world’s greatest museum of art and design, is collaborating with China Merchants Group (CMG) to open an ambitious new design museum in Shenzhen in 2017. This will house a V&A Gallery devoted to international design and provide a new perspective to understand the changing design landscape in China.
  • UKTI’s Creative Industries International Strategy aims to double the value of creative industries exports from £15.5 billion in 2011 to £31 billion by 2020, helping 15,000 companies to expand and develop relationships in overseas markets.
  • Merlin Entertainments have announced plans for a joint venture with China Media Capital to enable further expansion of their attraction brands in China, including opportunities for a new full-scale LEGOLAND Park in Shanghai and Midway brands like ‘The Dungeons’ and ‘Dreamworks Tours’.

Business secretary Sajid Javid highlighted the importance of global partnerships for “building a Britain that is stronger, more prosperous and full of opportunity”.

“Deals like those announced today will ensure our economy remains resilient and our businesses feel well-equipped to face the future,” he continued.

“This is a perfect example of how UK-China collaboration not only promotes investment but also makes a difference to the lives of ordinary people. It is another reason why China remains one of our most important international partners.”

Praseeda Nair

Praseeda Nair

Praseeda was Editor for from 2016 to 2018.

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