Steven Ma Launches Production Company in China

Following the footsteps of his TVB colleagues, Steven Ma (馬浚偉) announced the opening of his own production company, Zhonggang Taoyuan Steven Ma Studio, at a contract-signing event this week. The company is a collaborative effort between Steven and China’s Zhonggang Taoyuan Entertainment Company, and will invest mainly in television, film, and music.

Due to the rapid growth of China’s entertainment industry, many artists are investing in their own behind-the-scenes teams to augment their income and to enjoy the creative freedoms that come with being their own boss. This trend gave rise to many young entrepreneurs from within the entertainment circle. Mainland actors Huang Xiaoming (黃曉明), Wallace Huo (霍建華), and Yang Mi (楊冪) have all helmed their own production companies. Nicholas Tse (謝霆鋒) became a notable business school case study for his aptitude and business sense while running his successful special effects studio Post Production Office Group.

Many former TVB artists have also made their business marks up North. Michelle Ye (葉璇) is one of the most successful stories in recent years. This year, she was able to bring her major work Loved in the Purple <紫釵奇緣> to Hong Kong audiences. Since leaving TVB, Kevin Cheng (鄭嘉穎) kept himself busy by producing his own TV drama, and Michael Tse (謝天華) established Laughing Workshop, an artist management company.

Similarly, Steven is looking to create and star in his own TV and film productions. His latest partnership will invest up to $30 million RMB annually and has plans to deliver two television series and one movie in the coming year. Steven hopes to spread the love by casting his artist friends. Fala Chen (陳法拉) is a name on the top of his list.

Steven is very excited about this new opportunity, and is in a hurry to kick-start the project. He finds his collaboration with Zhonggang Taoyuan a good fit, remarking, “I feel that the conditions proposed by [Zhonggang Taoyuan Chairman] Mr. Huang Hong (黄洪) are comprehensive, reasonable, and give me a lot of freedom. We were able to quickly come to an agreement in terms of scheduling and work matters….”

Source: Oriental Daily

This article is written by Katrine for

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  1. It’s great to hear that he had established his own production company, but really not a good idea to cast his friends in his tv drama, that one big NO-NO in businesses. He should separate friendship & business, not the opposite. This will fail big time if he invite friends to participate in his productions

    1. Agree that is not a smart decision.
      It looks as though he is not taking his production company seriously, if only his friends participate in his TV dramas/movies.

      The first rule of building a new business is not working with friends

    2. Uhhh…he is JUST starting out, of course he will need to play the friendship card to build up his company. It’s all just talk now, so I don’t see what’s the big deal.

    3. First of all, clarification of the below translation. Steven is not seeking to cast his many friends in his movie, just considering his co-stars as a female lead. The translator put words in Steven’s mouth.

      “Steven hopes to spread the love by casting his artist friends. Fala Chen (陳法拉) is a name on the top of his list.”

      What was actually reported and what Steven actually said was as below: (none of that fabricated “spreading of love” nonsense)

      Yesterday this ( reporter contacted Steven. When asked of his lead candidates for his movie, Steven said he still does not know if he will play the male lead or not. For the female lead he is considering the mainland actresses and his former TVB co-stars. He said: “For starters, I’ve contacted Fala Chen because her contract with TVB has just ended, therefore she has more leeway. “

      2nd: Given their close friendship it is only considerate of Steven to call up Fala to inform her of his upcoming movie and to share with her his excitement as well as to gauge her interest as female lead.

      3rd: Generally, it is indeed not prudent for friends to be in long term business together, but in this case Fala-Steven collaboration is short – no more than 3 months if that, and they have worked well before.

      Personally, I think Fala and Steven will work well together again because of their straightforward characters and the mutual respect they have for each other.

      1. I personally do not see anything wrong with casting your friends in your productions. Michelle Ye since she invited Raymond, Tammy, and Kingdom for The Legend of the purple Pin. But of course you should see if they are suitable for the roles too. It would be great to see Fafa and Steven together again because I loved them in The a Ghost Writer.

  2. Congratulations Steven! I hope everything works out with the production company.

  3. Quotes: We work with the people not out of pity but out of respect for their potential for growth and development,
    both as individuals and as communities


    1. “out of respect for their potential for growth and development” That’s one reason why Mr. Huang wants to work with Steven.

      It wasn’t until September this year when Steven was in Beijing filming a movie that he met up with Mr. Huang Hong in a social gathering. During their chat, Mr. Huang told Steven frankly that he had watched his series and that he appreciated his body of work. He thought Steven exudes a culture aura and has a great potentiality. He believes Steven has a lot of room for growth and development. During their talk, Mr. Huang proposed to Steven a work collaboration between his TaoYuan company and him.

  4. So many artists seems to be opening their own production companies. Is the mainland market that big to accommodate all theses companies? What exactly do they do differently from a TV station like TVB who has their own production team?

    1. They source their own script, find investors, gets producer as billing. Most importantly, they market themselves and get the freedom to choose the roles they want, the script they want. If they’re successful, a lot of money to be earned and an alternate career as a producer apart from sourcing new talents. It is big enough simply because a production is cooperation between many many production companies. They then of course need to find a distributor. What TVB has is a vast network of distribution.

      1. I did some background digging on Steven’s backer 中港桃园影视传媒 and this is what I found.

        Dec 12 2012 news report – 中港桃園 is a 2012-Dec-11 newly registered 1 billion rmb mainland television & media company helmed by chairman Huang Hong, and located in Beijing. Mr. Huang said that his company will invest one billion yuan to develop a 2000 acre film production set base in 蜀南竹海 for filming purposes and as a tourist attraction. The construction will commerce in 2013, and the base will be in use by 2015.

        In 2013 August 6, the company signed a one billion RMB investment contract with the Sichuan Yibin County Government for that very film production base purpose. (note: another Hengdian?)

        The company seems legit and sincere enough but then one can never be too careful when dealing with a big corporation that made big promises to you.

        Based on past news reports, Steven may have already finished his script.

        Anyway, congratulations to Steven!

    2. Production companies strictly focus on making movies and TV dramas. They have to rely on others to distribute their products; like in the case of TV dramas, they will have to rely on TV networks to telecast the show. Also, they have no contracted actors, scriptwriters, directors etc that they have to use. These people would be “assembled” as independent contractors for particular projects.

      On the other hand, TVB uses the old Hollywood studio system that control the entire process from talent management, production and final distribution.

      1. Undoubtedly, the distribution of their end products via viable channels to reach maximum audiences poses the biggest problem to production companies. The producers’ network of distribution channels can break or make them, in the end.

  5. Steven is going to be so swarm with work, don’t know how he is going to manage.

    What with his 2nd music album in preparation stage, and preparing his 圖文並謬 book 2 for publication, and now this upcoming movie.

    Btw back in November, Steven has invited his weibo readers to submit their lyrics and music for consideration in his 2nd Cherish music album.

    Steven weibo response at the outpour of congratulations:

    Actually..the future, I can only use exertion in lieu of spoken words. Everything but everything, if (I) can receive your support and encouragement, tis’ enough! Thankful and give praise to God.


    1. Many artists are busy and it us good to be busy instead of those green leaf artists who struggle to find work.

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