Universal Music Greater China has announced a significant expansion of its label operations, with the launch of Capitol Records China as a new frontline label focused on signing and developing Chinese music talent.
The label has launched alongside a new standalone international division, which is dedicated to supporting UMG’s global talent roster across Greater China. It will continue to operate under the Universal Music China banner.
The launch of these new divisions is supported by strategic executive management appointments. Tom Tang (pictured) has been appointed as GM, Capitol Records China, while Yvonne Yuen has been named SVP, marketing & head of international, Universal Music Greater China. Both divisions will report to Sunny Chang, chairman & CEO, Universal Music Greater China.
The launch of Capitol Records in China brings the iconic label to Asia for the first time. For more than 80 years, Capitol Records has played a significant role in popular culture and has been home to artists including The Beatles, The Beach Boys, Nat “King” Cole, Peggy Lee, Linda Ronstadt, Frank Sinatra, and more.
“Capitol Records China will look to build on the rich legacy of this legendary label and establish itself as a home for Chinese music talent and culture in the future,” said a statement.
The label will be based in Beijing under the leadership of Tom Tang.
Michelle Jubelirer, chair and CEO, Capitol Music Group, said: “We are in a global industry, and it is hugely important to Capitol that audiences around the world are able to engage with our artists and their music. The formation of Capitol Records China and the naming of such talented members to the label’s executive management team means that Chinese audiences will have better access to domestic repertoire across China under Tom, as well as our diverse roster of international superstar talent under Yvonne. This is a tremendous and fitting advance of Capitol’s 80-year legacy.”
Tom Tang, GM of Capitol Records China, said: “I am so honoured to have been given the opportunity to launch the iconic record label – Capitol Records in China. This is an exciting and dynamic time for music in China, with an explosion in possibilities across cultural creativity and digital innovation. Now more than ever, we have an opportunity to build global careers for our homegrown musicians. I look forward to collaborating with the world-class team at UMG, expanding our investment in local talent, and building the visibility and popularity of Chinese music internationally.”
We have an opportunity to build global careers for our homegrown musicians
In August 2021, UMGC became the first major music company to establish multiple frontline label operations across China with the launch of Republic Records China, EMI China, PolyGram Records China, and Universal Music China as its flagship label divisions. Each label operates independently with its own dedicated artist rosters, A&R and specialist marketing teams. The company is committed to discovering and introducing Chinese music talent to the world across a variety of genres.
Tang joined UMGC in August 2019 as VP, head of A&R and content strategy, Universal Music China and has played an integral role in domestic A&R strategy development and creative content partnerships. He has supported the recent signings of UMC artists including Linong Chen and Sunnee, who were China’s most successful debut acts in 2020, as well as Gina Alice, Dylan Xiong and Chengyu Cai. Tang has also led partnerships with Disney China, Hunan TV and League of Legends (Riot Games), among others.
Prior to UMG, Tom Tang was a musical entrepreneur, launching various start-ups and music projects as well as holding managerial roles at Wild Aid and EE Media. He received an MBA degree in music industries from Liverpool University.
To maximise creative and commercial opportunities for UMG’s international artist roster in China, a standalone international division has been formed under the leadership of Yvonne Yuen. She will continue to be based in Hong Kong and report to Sunny Chang.
In this newly created role, Yvonne Yuen will lead the development of marketing strategy, day-to-day promotional campaigns, and creative commercial partnerships for UMG’s roster of international artists in the region.
Over the years, UMG’s international acts have established a solid fanbase among China’s music audiences, with Republic Records/UMG artist Taylor Swift becoming the biggest-selling international artist in China of all time.
In addition, Yuen and her team will also lead global marketing efforts for Chinese domestic artists, expanding and creating new opportunities to reach a broader international audience.
Yuen previously held regional marketing positions in Greater China and South Asia within UMG. Prior to joining UMG in 2005, she held the position of VP, marketing, Sony Music Asia and roles at Warner Music and Arena Group in Hong Kong.
Adam Granite, EVP, market development, Universal Music Group, said: “As one of the fastest-growing markets in the world, we are committed to expanding the opportunities for Chinese talent to find success domestically, across the wider region and worldwide. In order to discover and unleash the huge potential of China’s musical creativity, we continue to evolve and strengthen our operations, and our commitment to A&R and talent development through our unique multi-label structure.
“These additions to our business allow us to provide best-in-class services and create opportunities for both our domestic and international artists. I wish Tom and Yvonne great success and am thrilled to launch a new division of Capitol Records, one of music’s most iconic labels in China.”
Sunny Chang, chairman & CEO, UMGC, said: “I’d like to congratulate Yvonne and Tom for taking up new responsibilities as we continue to expand our multi-label operations in the highly competitive market of China. Yvonne has always played an essential role to bridge local and international with her strategic thinking, excellent insight, and cross-culture expertise. I am excited to see Yvonne achieve further successes for our international division across the region.
“And I welcome Tom to join our stellar management team, further intensifying our commitment to domestic A&R with the launch of Capitol Records. I believe his extraordinary depth of knowledge and wide range of experience greatly contribute to the future success of Capitol in China.”
Yvonne Yuen said: “It’s a privilege for me to take up this new role at such an exciting time. Great music travels across borders. At UMGC, our international team always strives to develop innovative and tailor-made marketing campaigns to break our artists’ repertoire to new territories and audiences, and that exchange of music should work both ways. I believe that China is at the forefront of breaking the international stars of tomorrow. I hope to work closely with our domestic labels to identify the future stars from China and bring their music to reach a global audience.”
All labels under UMGC will work with local digital partners in content licensing and creative marketing, alongside UMG’s global network of platforms and partners to support Chinese music around the world.
In August 2020, UMG entered into landmark content licensing agreements with both Tencent Music Entertainment Group and NetEase Cloud Music – two of the largest domestic music streaming services in China.