State-owned giant China Film Group (CFG) is understood to be heading for major management changes, with La Peikang set to replace Han Sanping as chairman of the group.

Currently deputy head of CFG, La is known to be internationally savvy and speaks French after spending several years living in Paris. He was formerly the head of China Film Co-production Corp (CFCC), during a period when the government body started to reach out to international producers to facilitate official Chinese co-productions.

Han’s retirement from the role has been expected for some time and it’s understood that he will oversee the launch of a state-backed film fund. He oversaw CFG during a period of massive box office growth and film industry development in China. He also started the process for a planned stock market flotation of CFG.

CFG is China’s sole importer of foreign films and one of only two companies, along with Huaxia Film, that is allowed to distribute imports. The company is also a major producer of Chinese films and has co-produced international films such as The Karate Kid and Mission: Impossible III. CFG also operates cinema chains and production facilities.

The changes are expected to take place over Chinese New Year, which this year falls on January 31. Further management changes are also expected. China Film’s Fu Ruoqing will replace Gu Guoqing as Huaxia chairman, while Cao Yin will replace Yan Xiaoming as head of movie channel CCTV6.