Fox sets up China DVD link

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20th Century Fox Home Entertainment has inked a distribution deal in China with local video distributor Zoke Culture Group.

TCFHE previously distributed its DVD and VCD titles via a local licensee but has agreed to a deal with the privately owned Zoke as part of a long-term commitment to the Chinese market, according to TCFHE president Mike Dunn. A formal announcement of the deal is anticipated shortly.

Zoke is China's largest home entertainment distributor and has access to around 100,000 outlets around the country.

"If you are going to make the commitment to the marketplace, you need a partner like Zoke, which has that kind of platform to build from," Dunn said.

The move is in part an attempt to legitimize China's home entertainment market and follows similar developments by Warner Home Video and Universal Pictures International to begin distribution of legal product in the territory.

Dunn said that China is making strides to combat piracy. "I actually think China has a respect for Intellectual Property rights and they are emphasizing it," he said. "Our strategy is to be a really good partner with them and figure it out together."

Kicking off its new business on DVD and VCD, TCFHE will release its summer theatrical hits "Garfield: A Tale of Two Kitties," "Ice Age: The Meltdown" and "X-Men: The Last Stand."

"We're starting with our big guns," Dunn said. "We believe we will get our first wave of catalogue out in December and we'll follow that up with some television shows as well."
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