‘WTO’ Tag
Some thoughts about the Shanghai Free-Trade Zone
Shanghai, October 1st (Economist)

The Shanghai Free-Trade Zone
A damp squib

FOR weeks now, pundits and politicians have been talking excitedly about the coming Shanghai Free Trade Zone (SFTZ). Li Keqiang, China’s prime minister, has personally championed this initiative, which he has indicated will kickstart his new government’s broader plans to liberalise China’s economy.

Li Ka-shing, a Hong Kong tycoon who is Asia’s richest man, claimed that the SFTZ could propel Shanghai past Hong Kong to become the country’s chief financial centre. Punters gobbled up shares of any Chinese firms with the word “Shanghai” in their name (absurdly including underwear makers) confident that the zone would boost their fortunes. Netizens were positively aflutter when rumours surfaced that the Great Firewall, which blocks access to the unfettered internet, would be suspended in the promised land.

The wait is over. Chinese authorities have at last launched the SFTZ formally, and issued a set of guidelines. They continue to insist that this is a landmark event, on par with the creation of the Shenzhen special economic zone over three decades ago—a breakthrough that helped usher in liberal economic reforms and three decades of spectacular growth. At a press event held in Shanghai on September 29th, officials used the word “innovation” 43 times as they gushed about how this experiment would help China. The new government wants to transform the economy from the sweatshop to the world into a global innovation powerhouse.

So is the SFTZ really the next Shenzen? It is too early to tell, not least because Chinese reformers have a habit of starting slowly out of the gate, but the signs thus far are unpromising.

Read further…
Source: Economist

‘Despicable Me 2′ Blocked from Chinese Theaters
Beijing, July 233d (Hollywood Reporter)

The government will not allow the Universal animated feature to be shown in the country.

Universal Pictures’ Despicable Me 2 has been denied a release in mainland China, with commentators seeing the decision as part of the country’s attempts to dampen enthusiasm for imported animated features.

A Universal spokesperson confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter the film would not be opening in the country. The previous installment to the franchise, released in 2010, also was not released there.

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Source: Hollywood Reporter

China’s Surprise Tax Prompts Hollywood Standoff
Los Angeles, May 1st (Hollywood Reporter)
Fox refuses $23 million in “Life of Pi” money as the MPAA fights to enforce a trade deal.

As Iron Man 3 rolls outs in China, it’s unclear whether Marvel will hurry to cash any checks from the country. Marvel’s parent Disney could be caught in a controversy over revenue that threatens a landmark trade agreement reached last year between U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and China President Xi Jinping.

The studios hailed the deal for loosening restrictions on Hollywood films in the booming market. Now they contend that China’s attempt to impose a value-added tax that would reduce their profit violates the agreement. If there’s no resolution, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative could appeal to the World Trade Organization.

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Source: Hollywood Reporter

Thailand Lobbies China to Restructure Its Film Import System
Beijing, April 12th (Hollywood Reporter)
Thailand is urging China to divide its import quota into Asian and non-Asian categories, so that regional fare won’t have to compete against Hollywood for access to the Chinese market.

Building upon a surge in enthusiasm for all things Thai in China – following the record-breaking success of Chinese road comedy, Lost in Thailand, which portrays the Southeast Asian country in an effusively flattering light — the Thai embassy in Beijing has announced the launch of its first-ever Thai film festival.

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Source: Hollywood Reporter

Chinese Movie Market under Pressure
Beijing, November 13th (China Daily)
The increasing number of imported movies into the country is putting pressure on the Chinese film industry.

Tian Jin, deputy head of the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT), announced at a press conference Monday that the market share of domestic movies had dropped due to the increasing number foreign film imports.

From January to October, the box office of domestic films accounted for 41.4 percent of the total, down from that of the same period of last year. Though it increased by 40 percent year on year to 13.27 billion yuan ($2.1 billion), according to Tian.

According to figures released earlier by the SARFT, the box office of domestic films in the first six months of the year only accounted for 35 percent of the total.

Last year, domestic films contributed to 53.61 percent of the total box office in China.

“On the other hand, it shows that China has kept its promise to the World Trade Organization (WTO) regarding opening up the film market and foreign films having a smooth channel into China,” Tian said.

Read further…
Source: China Daily

White House: China to Allow More U.S. Films
Washington, February 17th 2012 (Hollywood Reporter)

The announcement is applauded by the MPAA, which says it will “return a much better share of the box office revenues to U.S studios.”

China has agreed to allow “significantly more job-supporting US film exports” in an effort to provide fairer compensation to Hollywood film producers, the White House announced Friday evening.

After spending the day with Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping in Los Angeles, Vice President Joe Biden said the US and China have reached an agreement that will “make it easier than ever before for U.S. studios and independent filmmakers to reach the fast-growing Chinese audience.”

The deal was immediately applauded by the Motion Picture Association of America and its member studios.

Read further…
Source: Hollywood Reporter

China Box Office, Import Quota, Hollywood Dominance
Beijing, June 1st 2011

It is interesting if you read that China should raise the quota for foreign imported movies and then you see the current box office. Hollywood is currently dominating the Chinese screens, securing 96% market share over the last week and taking RMB 300 Million in just seven days.

Currently the top three in the box office are all Hollywood productions.
• Pirates of the Caribbean 4
• Kung Fu Panda 2
• Fast and the Furious 5

Read further….
Source: QQ Entertainment
Source: Variety

China Tells WTO To Be Patient on Movie Market Opening
Beijing, March 21st (Hollywood Reporter)

Two weeks have passed since China promised to tell the World Trade Organization what it’s doing about allowing an agreed upon rise in foreign participation in the distribution of movies at its booming box office and all that’s come out of Beijing is a plea for patience and a complaint about the world trade body.

A December 2009 WTO ruling said China — where gross ticket sales leaped 64 percent to $1.5 billion in 2010 — must open its film industry’s distribution sector and loosen the duopoly of the state-run China Film Group and its sister company Huaxia Film Distribution.

Read further….
Source: Hollywood Reporrter

China Media Regulator SARFT Appoints New Head Before People’s Congress
Beijing, February 25th (Hollywood Reporter)

Cai Fuchao will be the new chief administrator of the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television.

China has appointed a new chief media monitor at the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television, the body that must approve all Hollywood imports, the official Xinhua News Agency reported Friday.

The change in chief administrator of SARFT, which answers directly to the State Council, the cabinet of the one-party central government, comes as China is expected to open its doors wider to foreign participation in its booming but closely-guarded media marketplace.

SARFT tapped Cai Fuchao, a 60-year-old Beijing deputy mayor and chief propagandist for the capital city, to replace Wang Taihua, during whose six-year tenure China’s market for movies in particular has grown faster than any other in the world.

Read further….
Source: Hollywood Reporrter

US – China Film Summit
Los Angeles, November 2nd 2010

Roughly 500 film industry pros interested in bridging the gap between China and the U.S. packed the Writers Guild of America theater Tuesday to “get into the weeds” of the challenges ahead, as organizer Peter Shiao put it.

The U.S.-China Film Summit, held on the eve of the American Film Market and months before China is meant to open its doors to greater foreign participation in its booming entertainment industry (under WTO mandate), was not, however, meant to be political.

Read further….
Source: Hollywood Reporter
Source: US – China Film Summit

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