China Film Group Chairman Steps Down

China Film Group Chairman Steps Down

Han Sanping retires after 7 years as chairman

Han Sanping  will step down as head of China Film Group after seven years as chairman of the state-backed distributor and producer.

Han confirmed to his departure to Film Business Asia, which reports that China Film Group deputy chairman LA Peikang and vice chairman Jiao Hongfen will take over his work load.

Also read: China Film Group's IPO Could Ease Hollywood's Box-Office Headache for Good

Speculation has mounted in recent months that China Film Group was poised to undergo a leadership shakeup. Han has reached retirement age, but told Film Business Asia that he still plans to work in the film business. In addition to his work at China Film Group, he has been a producer and director.

Also read: China Accused of Failing to Fully Implement Film Agreement

Hollywood closely monitors the comings and goings at China Film Group because it is seen as a key gatekeeper to the country and its burgeoning population of moviegoers. In 2012, China surpassed Japan as the second largest market for films and is widely expected to eventually eclipse the United States. Last year, the country's overall box office grew  27 percent last year, increasing from $2.7 billion in 2012 to $3.6 billion, according to estimates.