updated 1/18/2004 9:01:56 PM ET 2004-01-19T02:01:56

U.S. entertainment company Warner Brothers has signed an agreement with Chinese real estate firm Wanda Group to set up 30 multiplex cinemas in China, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

The first was to open Sunday in the northeastern city of Tianjin with the other 29 to finish construction over the next four years in Beijing, Shanghai, the northern cities of Harbin, Dalian and Shenyang and the central cities of Wuhan and Zhengzhou, the report said.

Under the agreement, Wanda Group will build the cinemas while Warner Brothers, a unit of Time Warner Inc., will run and manage them and provide technical services, it said.

Financial terms weren’t disclosed.

Warner Brothers previously inked a framework deal with Guangzhou Performance Co. to set up cinemas in southern China, Xinhua said.

New rules that took effect Jan. 1 allow foreign investors to own up to 75 percent in joint-venture cinemas in seven of China’s largest cities, the agency said.

© 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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