EMI Music South East Asia has signed a "strategic content partnership" with Shanghai Media Group (SMG) to distribute its content via digital platforms in China.

EMI Music South East Asia has signed a "strategic content partnership" with Shanghai Media Group (SMG) to distribute its content via digital platforms in China.

The deal, which takes effect immediately, will see EMI's catalog and future releases supported on new platforms such as mobile video and online streaming and downloading.

"SMG is one of China's most influential media and new media companies, they have a strong market presence and new media establishment in China," says EMI Music South East Asia president/COO Paul Robinson.

"EMI has very strong content in China, and the content co-operation will benefit to the development of the legitimate music service on new media platforms in China," Robinson adds.

The deal covers both EMI international repertoire and Chinese/regional acts signed to EMI.

SMG is a major Chinese-language media conglomerate created in 2001 out of the merger of several TV, cable and radio stations. It now claims to broadcast 258 hours of TV and 214 hours of radio daily. It also has stakes in the telecom sector, print media and Internet service providers.

In a statement EMI Music China president Michael Hwang hailed the deal. "This agreement enables us to provide consumers in China with new ways to experience and interact with music from their favorite artists, while at the same time giving valuable and highly targeted exposure for our artists through SMG's extensive media network," Hwang said.

"The cross-platform digital release of music with EMI is a major step towards developing legitimate music distribution in China," said SMG vice president Zhang Da Zhong in a statement. "It proves that new media has become a major distribution channel for music, and sets a milestone for new media development in China."

The service will kick off with full-song downloads and streaming audio files for PC and mobile phones of songs from "Happy World," the latest album by Chinese pop group the Flowers Band, which is signed to EMI's Shanghai-based Pushtyphoon subsidiary.