China to spend $163 mln a year to
support movie industry
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[June 19, 2014]
BEIJING (Reuters) - The Chinese
government will spend 1 billion yuan ($163 million) a year to
support the domestic movie industry, including producing films and
funding the construction of digital cinemas, state media said on
The money will go to help produce five to 10 films a year and
build the cinemas mostly in the poorer center and west of the
country, the official Xinhua news agency said.
"The cultural development fund will specifically promote
movie-making technology, help exports of Chinese films, invest
in commercial productions and build film websites," it said.
Xinhua did not say over how many years the government would
provide such funding.
Banks would also be encouraged to lend to the sector, production
companies would be encouraged to list on the stock market and
issue bonds, and insurance companies would be encouraged to buy
stakes in film companies, it added.
Hollywood has traditionally dominated China's box office, but
Chinese films overtook their U.S. rivals in 2013 taking more
than 58 percent of the box office, according to state media, and
the government has been keen to boost domestic talent.
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U.S. studios have been taking steps to appeal to the fast-growing
Chinese box office, which hit 21.8 billion yuan last year.
Production companies like Viacom Inc's Paramount Picture and
DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc have hired Chinese actors and set up
co-productions with Chinese firms to make inroads into the mainland
But China's often draconian film regulators hold a tight grip over
the market, controlling the inflow of foreign films in order to
protect the box office share of domestic ventures.
($1 = 6.2090 Chinese Yuan Renminbi)
(Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Robert Birsel)
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