Beijing office launches Nov. 18.

Tokyo-based independent label Avex has become the first Japanese record company to set up a subsidiary in mainland China.

Beijing-based Avex China was formally established Nov. 16 and began operations on Nov. 18, according to Avex.

The label, which will be involved in all aspects of the music business in the Chinese market, is 49% owned by Avex Asia Holdings, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Avex; 46% by Beijing-based Beijing Chengtian Music Production; and 5% by Virgin Islands-based Chengtian Entertainment International Holdings. Avex bought a 20% stake in the latter company earlier this year.

"We will be finding new artists in China, and also helping some artists from Japan, Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong to make their debut in China," Avex said in a statement. "We are looking to create hit items and new trends to be the biggest in Asia."

Avex chairman Masato Matsuura was named chairman of Avex China. Information about who will head the new company's Beijing office was not available at press time.