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Chinese mainlanders will have to turn to piracy to watch the latest American blockbusters

China is blocking the import of American films, said MPAA CEO and Chairman Dan Glickman in an official statement released last week.

“Although we have not received official confirmation of such a ban from the Chinese Government or China Film, the indicators are strong that our information is correct,” read the statement. “If such action has been taken … it would represent an enormous step backwards in terms of China’s efforts to develop a strong … and legitimate film exhibition and distribution market.”

In a move that some suspect is retaliation for a recent U.S.-filed WTO complaint over China’s alarmingly high piracy rate, the Chinese government appears to have stopped granting import requests to American filmmakers -- of which it normally allows for about 20 movies per year. According to one anonymous Hollywood executive speaking to The New York Times, the Chinese government became suddenly uncooperative; filmmakers’ movie import requests for early next year have thus far been ignored, delayed, or come back denied.

“We are working with top officials in the US government, including the Treasury Secretary, as well as the Trade Representative and Secretary of Commerce, both of whom are in China at the moment,” said Glickman. “If these reports are true, it is unacceptable that China has taken this action and we will bring all our resources and leverage to bear to address this situation.”

A spokeswoman from the Chinese State Administration of Radio, Film, and Television, declined to comment on the so-called ban, noting that if such a ban was in place it would have been officially announced on the Administration’s web site.

American filmmakers, many of whom are betting heavily on the growing the Chinese market, say China’s restrictive stance on American movies is a direct contributor to the country’s high piracy rate. The previous 20-movie limit is “a very low number to begin with,” said U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab, “and we believe the low number contributes to the problems [we] have in intellectual property rights protection.”

A Chinese ban on American movies “would be very serious indeed,” said Schwab, who at the time was at a Strategic Economic Dialogue meeting outside Beijing. “We have spoken forcefully to our Chinese hosts.”

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RE: China
By mrteddyears on 12/20/2007 4:34:25 AM , Rating: 2
I find this very interesting to read as the treasury and trade big wigs are over in China and all of a sudden this ban comes out. Sounds to me like China are squeezing the USA’s peas a little to ensure that Chinese production output is not targeted.

I work for a Chinese company and they really don’t like being told what to do and how to do it especially by the USA.

So don’t read to much into it its just political nonsense that will not effect us in anyway.

RE: China
By spepper on 12/20/2007 8:58:42 AM , Rating: 3
good insight, mrteddyears-- I'm sure that China is as unenthusiastic about being beaten over the head with the rolled-up paper version of the WTO treaty as a lot of folks are right here in the USA-- so it's not surprising they would use that manuver of just shutting down the U.S. imports of certain products-- which in that case, American made movie DVD's, would certainly provoke more piracy in the Asian region-- China is like a consumer, the BIGGEST in the world, that's held hostage by its own government, like a family in a bad neighborhood that's being forced by a gang to pay "protection"-- the "gang" simply tells them what they can and cannot buy or sell, for their "own good" of course--

RE: China
By joust on 12/22/2007 11:21:21 PM , Rating: 2
What the Chinese don't realize is we can play their game too. I wonder how they'd behave if we required their goods be held at port for a couple months due to "safety" inspections?

We also could rattle the saber loud enough to make foreign direct investors in China very, very scared. Scared enough to yank their money out ASAP. Two words: "naval blockade".

"Game reviewers fought each other to write the most glowing coverage possible for the powerhouse Sony, MS systems. Reviewers flipped coins to see who would review the Nintendo Wii. The losers got stuck with the job." -- Andy Marken

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