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Mapping Out the Chinese Media Landscape

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Part of the International Series on Computer Entertainment and Media Technology book series (ISCEMT)


As seen in the previous chapter, China’s revived economic interests coincided with its re-opening to the world in the 1970s after Mao’s death and its WTO access in 2001. Since this period, the Chinese creative industries have undertaken rapid and important transformations. The potential economic opportunities associated with access to China consumer market, which is the world’s largest one, have made it a prime commercial target for most international industries and corporations, including the film industry.

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  • DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-02468-0_4
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  1. 1.

    To write this chapter, I performed desk research and collected data from trade journals and other secondary sources such as academic material (papers, books and theses). I kept the book current in regard to this contextual chapter (in the same way I did for Chap. 3 and the rest of this study), as I am aware that I am studying a fast-moving area of research involving many complex interactions between creative talents, the media industry, SAPPRFT, as well as economic, legal and technological trends. The triangulation of secondary with primary sources such as first-hand interviews of experts was a critical part of this process.

  2. 2.

    As previously explained in Chap. 2, I add a nuance to the societal and market dimensions of Peterson’s and Lemaire’s models in Chaps. 8 and 9. This nuance operates at a cellular level and was described by Philip Lee as passion factor (Lee 2005). The passion factor characterises the motivations of certain talent to work in the creative industries as much as their affective relationship with the filmmaking process. Because audiences (the market) have become Producers of content, some elements relative to labour, career and employment forces will also appear in Chap. 9.

  3. 3.

    Most of them used to be connected to the circulation of pirated content, but as I will describe online and offline piracy have lost ground and the sector has been formalised in China over the past 10 years.

  4. 4.

    2016 Special 301: China (PRC) Issued 5th of February 2016, Page 14:

  5. 5.

    Online film distribution still is an emergent market (Cunningham and Silver 2012).

  6. 6.

    For more details, please refer to the case of Movielink in Appendix 2.

  7. 7.

    These areas will be developed in the following chapters: Chaps. 5, 7, 8, and 9.

  8. 8.

    However, sites such as Taobao Movie or Damai offer significant discounts to RMB45 that allow for a reduction of box office manipulations and a better management of the film screens and latest releases.

  9. 9.

  10. 10.

    In 2001, for, instance the distribution of a 6–12 million budget film cost 350,000–1 million US dollar to distribute in a European country such as France or Germany, whereas the same movie would cost 40,000–100,000 US Dollar in Hong Kong and 60,000–150,000 US Dollar in Mainland China (Miller et al. 2005, 297–98).

  11. 11.

    Belinda Tang, Golden Harvest, April 2009.

  12. 12.

    One 35 mm print = 27,000 Euros (300 Euros eq. per min * 90 min).

  13. 13.

    Mr. Peter Walshe, Head Programmer, IFI, December 2007. Constantin Dakaskis, Head of the Audiovisual Department of the European Commission, February 2008.

  14. 14.

    Please refer to Appendix 2 for more details on Movielink.

  15. 15.

    The government justified the exceeding numbers as ‘cultural exchange projects’ (Brzeski 2017).

  16. 16.

    guojia xinwen chuban guangbo dianying dianshi zongju or 国家新闻出版广播电影电视总局.

  17. 17.

    However, the period of consolidation is over, as large groups such as Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent (BAT) have started to diversify and decentralise their operations into smaller entities which go public independently (Chung and Hou 2016). This was the case of Alibaba Pictures Group, for instance. While Alibaba Pictures remain part of Alibaba and its overall strategy, it acts as a specialist in its own sector.

  18. 18.

    Also created with incremental steps like all the other political-economic strategic decisions taken over the past 60 years. In this way, the great firewall mirrors the political power in place and acts as one of its many microcosms. This is also symbolic of The Great Wall of China, and the reason why the wall was initially built: to protect China from foreign invaders.

  19. 19.

    Google and YouTube were both blocked in early 2009 after first temporary blockings in 2007 and 2008 following riots in Tibet (Loveland 2009; Griffin 2015).

  20. 20.


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Poujol, P. (2019). Mapping Out the Chinese Media Landscape. In: Online Film Production in China Using Blockchain and Smart Contracts. International Series on Computer Entertainment and Media Technology. Springer, Cham.

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