Former NBA star Yao Ming eyeing film business

January 31st, 2012 - 6:56 pm ICT by IANS  

Shanghai, Jan 31 (IANS) Retired Chinese basketball superstar Yao Ming has been looking for business opportunities in the film industry but has not entered it yet, Yao’s agent said Tuesday, responding to media reports claiming that Yao is planning to set up a film finance fund.

Foreign media reports that Jay Cohen, an American film producer, is setting up a film finance fund with Yao have caught the attention of China’s media and public.

“Yao Ming and our team has not joined or set up any such organisation as the film finance fund,” Yao’s agent Zhang Mingji told Xinhua, adding that they are open to such kind of business, and are looking for good investment opportunities.

Zhang said Jay Cohen is a friend of Yao and they have had some discussions on investing in the film industry, but no action has been taken yet.

He went on to say that Yao is currently busy with managing Shanghai Sharks, a Chinese basketball team, and he has no plans to go to the United States to negotiate investing in the film industry.

Yao, 31, announced his retirement July 20 last year from the National Basketball Association’s Houston Rockets, the US team which made him a global star, and from the Chinese national team five days later.

Since his retirement, Yao has been back to school studying for a university degree in business management and helping manage the Shanghai Sharks.

In November, he set up a company to sell his own brand of wine, and he sold the first bottle for 150,000 yuan ($23,766) at a charity auction.

Yao is China’s first global sports superstar with a personal brand valued at more than $1 billion.

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