China's State Council has amended its regulations to allow investors from Hong Kong and Macau to launch their own artist management companies in mainland China.

Hong Kong and Macau artist management companies are also allowed to set up mainland branches under the new policy.

In addition, foreign investors not from Hong Kong or Macau are allowed to set up Sino-foreign joint venture artist management companies, so long as their share does not exceed 49%.

The regulations also cover performing troupes, concert management companies and sites for performances such as opera houses.

The new regulations state that: 'investors from Hong Kong and Macau Special Administrative Regions may invest in Mainland China by establishing Sino-foreign joint ventures, Sino-foreign cooperatives and wholly foreign-owned performance site management units or artist management agencies.'

'Performance brokerage institutions from Hong Kong and Macau Special Administrative Regions may establish branches in the mainland.'

Previously, the regulations prohibited the establishment of any foreign-owned or joint venture performing troupes, performance sites and brokerage agencies.

In Asia, talent management companies usually take on all the functions of a talent agent and manager, rather than separating the two roles as in the US market.

Hong Kong artist management companies are welcoming the new policy. Red Cliff producer Terence Chang, who recently launched Stellar Entertainment in Hong Kong, said the new policy would boost the company's development in mainland China.

'If the regulation allows, we will definitely establish a mainland branch company in China,' Chang said. Stellar now represents three mainland Chinese artists including Red Cliff star Zhang Fengyi.

Some mainland concert management companies also believe that the entry of Hong Kong competitors will enable the performance industry to flourish:

'This will be an opportunity for mainland and Hong Kong companies to learn from each other,' said Gao Qi, CEO of the entertainment company under the China Performance Arts Agency (CPAA).