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UK indies head for China

British toons get space on SINA

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A selection of the UK's finest independent bands are hoping a new deal to promote their wares in China will bear fruit.

The Association of Independent Music (AIM) has done a deal with China's largest ISP, SINA, to stream British songs on the company's website.

SINA's portal will have an area dedicated to British music. This will offer streams from the likes of Basement Jaxx, Stereophonics and Prodigy. There will also be links to relevant websites and, eventually, ringtones and other promotional items. SINA claims 180m registered users.

AIM chair and CEO Alison Wenham said it was a big opportunity for major labels, as well as independents.

The deal was arranged by music consultancy SWAT Enterprises.

SWAT president and CEO Stuart Watson said: "Whilst British music has a history in China, and many of our older superstar artists such as Elton, Clapton and McCartney are well known throughout the country, there is a overall lack in knowledge among China's younger music consumers in regard to our modern day successes."

All going well, the agreement will be signed on 13 April and will be witnessed by London Mayor Ken Livingstone

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