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As Movie Industry Suffers Major Setback due to COVID 19, Administration Exerts More Influence

Radio Free Asia reported that China’s film and television industry suffered a significant setback due to COVID 19. The latest data shows that, since the beginning of this year, more than 6,600 film and television companies have closed their doors. The box office revenue will show a loss of 30 billion yuan (US$4.2 billion) this year. Some analysts believe that the central administration could use the opportunity to intensify censorship on the contents of the creations in the film and television industry, making it drift away and become distant from the rest of the world.

On April 29, Wang Xiaohui, executive vice minister of the Central Publicity Department, gave the film and television industry directives to produce films using the following three major themes: showing a moderately prosperous society, the 100th anniversary of the party, and the anti-epidemic effort which promotes positive energy. Wang said that the government will increase the support to the industry, actively coordinate the effort to reduce rent payments, provide loan discounts, and support the purchase and distribution of movie tickets.

On May 7, three video websites, Tencent Video, iQiyi, and Youku, together with six other film and television companies, jointly released an industry rescue proposal and vowed that the industry will produce contents that are “in line with party policy and provide audiences with products that document the lively life and great moments in this era.”

According to the comment quoted in the article, since the central administration has the ability to provide the funding, it now has more leverage to influence the content of the narratives for the movies that are being produced.

Source: Radio Free Asia, May 8, 2020