Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment (TCFHE) has set up an exclusive licensing partnership with China's Guangzhou-based video distributor Zoke Culture Group (Zoke).

Zoke will distribute TCFHE's recent theatrical releases as well as titles from the studio's film library in its 20,000 retail outlets in major cities across China.

TCFHE is also establishing a representative office in China's Guangzhou City.

The first wave of DVD and VCD titles will be released this month, led by blockbuster hits Garfield: A Tale Of Two Kitties, Ice Age: The Meltdown and X-Men: The Last Stand.

According to Keith Feldman, Executive VP and International General Manager of TCFHE, the titles will be priced between $2.5 to $3.75 (20 to 30 yuan), a strategy to combat China's vast pirate market. Feldman also said the average DVD release window in China will be shorter than that in North America.

"Our goal is to preserve the integrity of our movies, while offering Chinese consumers first-rate packaged entertainment that is authentic, affordable and quickly accessible," said Mike Dunn, Worldwide President of TCFHE.

Pirated DVDs of Hollywood blockbusters can be seen one week after major theatrical releases in China's major cities, with an average price of $1 (8 According to Feldman, Zoke's distribution capability and its commitment to combat piracy are major reasons behind TCFHE partnership with Zoke.

Established in 1998, Zoke was the first Chinese audio and video production companies to have a dedicated team of 100 staff focusing on anti-piracy and copyright protection activities, including reporting wholesalers and production lines of pirated market to the police.

Zoke is now one of the largest home entertainment distributors in China with over 100 distribution channels allocated in 23 cites around China.

Zoke is the distributor of major Chinese titles such as Huayi Brothers' A World Without Thieves, New Picture's House of Flying Daggers and China Film's The Promise.

TCFHE plans to release 100 titles with Zoke's distribution network in 2007.