Endemol Shine restructures China ops; Beijing office closes, company says sustainable growth difficult

Endemol Shine is closing its mainland China-based production and development operation in favour of a centralised licensing strategy driven on the ground by local agents.

Despite big-brand IP licensing successes,   “the current operational model is considered unsustainable given the market conditions which limit the activities of non-domestic production companies,” company execs say.

The surprise move, confirmed to us this morning (6 Nov), comes less than two weeks after the group’s sale to Banijay was announced on 26 October. The two companies will operate separately until the deal closes, so the China decision is unlikely to be linked to the sale. 

The China strategy shift follows ratings wins on powerful broadcast network Hunan TV for co-developed talent format Sing or Spin, as well as local adaptation deals for Humans, Younger and Broadchurch

All these partnerships will continue under the new structure. “We remain committed to the region with our revised approach,”  Endemol Shine Group’s CEO of international operations, Nicola Bamford, said.

The decision to pull out impacts 12 people based in Endemol Shine China’s Beijing office.

“We are incredibly proud of what has been achieved over the past five years by the team on the ground in China. The business environment has changed for everyone and, with the current landscape, it has grown increasingly difficult for the company to structure a business based on sustainable growth,” says Endemol Shine China’s managing director, William Tan, who will oversee the transition, which is expected to be complete in the first half of 2020.