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China Film Group Chairman Han Sanping to retire

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Longtime China Film Group chairman Han Sanping announced his retirement Tuesday, turning over the reins of the biggest and most influential state-run movie enterprise to new leadership.

China Film Group develops, produces and distributes mainland movies and oversees the export and import of films -- including Hollywood pictures -- into China. Jiao Hongfen, a former vice chairman of the organization, is reportedly taking up the reins of the group along with La Peikang, according to local media.

Speculation about a possible initial public offering for China Film Group has been swirling for years but has yet to come to pass.

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Han was named vice chairman of China Film in 1999 and became chairman in 2007. During his tenure the mainland’s box office has grown dramatically to the world’s No. 2 market, behind only the United States.

Han has directed a number of Chinese historical epics, including “The Founding of a Republic” and Beginning of the Great Revival,” and been credited as producer or executive producer on dozens of films, including “Red Cliff” and “Mission: Impossible III.”

Han told China Public Radio that he was stepping down because he had reached retirement age of 60.

The financial news magazine Caixin reported that Han had been questioned earlier this year in a top-level corruption investigation into former deputy public security minister Li Dongsheng. But the report did not allege any wrongdoing on Han’s part and it was unclear whether that was connected to his decision to step aside.

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