The news was confirmed by Lisa Movius (who is doing PR for Soma) in an e-mail/comment by proxy here:
"While it will be a subsidiary of the Japanese investor, and not of the Beijing locale, it sounds like the Shanghai and Beijing Maos will be quite closely affiliated, with a coordinated line-up. Which hopefully will mean that our Shanghai bands will get more chances to play in Beijing and Japan.Mao Live Shanghai is now slated to open on 18 September with a concert by Hong Kong's My Little Airport.Mao Shanghai's space can hold 800-1000 people and is on Huaihai Xi Lu, adjacent to Red Town. Zhijiang Dream Factory will, after this month, return to New Factories' management."
Soma's marriage with the Dream Factory, which caused a fair bit of controversy when it was initially announced, didn't turn out to be a particularly happy one and they struggled to fill the venue on a regular basis. Can they pull in 800-1000 people week in, week out? The biggest crowds during their Dream Factory tenure came for shows which they did not organise and it'll be interesting to see whether they employ a similar deal to the one that they put in place at Zhijiang, which led other promoters to feel they had been cut out. If they want to be filling a mid-size venue like this regularly, they may need to cooperate more with other promoters.
When I interviewed Pang Pang from Soma in the wake of the Dream Factory controversy, he said that the "ultimate plan" was to "create a specialised livehouse" with an emphasis on "the environment, the sound, lighting, stage, low-priced drinks." This vision became bogged down in wranglings with the New Factories management, hence this move for their own venue. One would think that this new venture will give Soma more freedom to do what they want and it will be interesting to see what they do when given their own venue. The Soma-Dream Factory saga seems to be at an end. Whether they will enjoy more success with this new venture remains to be seen.