A regulatory crackdown on aggressive borrowing by individuals and companies in China is squeezing firms doing business in Hollywood, including Dalian Wanda Group, owner of Legendary Entertainment and AMC Theaters, and LeEco. Then there is Huahua Media.
Huahua helped Paramount’s “Transformers: Age of Extinction” make a then-record $320 million at the Chinese box office in 2014, turning the blockbuster into a phenomenon as the exclusive marketing partner for the film in China. Over the next couple of years, Huahua became a more important partner of Paramount, marketing other films like “xXx: Return of Xander Cage.” Then early last year Huahua struck a deal to finance a quarter of Paramount’s films over the next three years, in partnership with another Chinese firm. Relations got so cozy that Huahua even planned to open an office on the Paramount lot.