Taiwan may lift ban on performers from China

Concerts by mainland artists could be allowed this year

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Taiwan may lift its ban on live performances by acts from mainland China.

Tseng I-hung, director of the Government Information Office's department of broadcasting affairs, said the ban -- which doesn't affect promo appearances -- could be lifted by the end of the year.

Once that happens, Tseng added, local radio and television stations will be allowed to broadcast local concerts by mainland artists.

"It's definitely a significant step," said Soul Chen, Taipei-based Universal Music Taiwan A&R director.

Taiwanese artists regularly perform live on the mainland, as well as appearing in movies and ad campaigns, but Chinese musicians have not been granted the same access to the Taiwanese market.

T.C. Liu -- Sony BMG Greater China GM, who also is based in Taipei -- said he expects the end of the ban to lead to more collaboration between mainland artists and their Taiwan counterparts.

The lifting of the band is seen as part of the policy of "proactive liberalization" of economic and cultural ties with the mainland introduced by Taiwan president Ma Ying-Jiou since he took office in May.