The new ‘black list’ shows fraud is most rife in the country’s smallest cities with 21 of the 26 cinemas hailing from third and fourth-tier cities.
China’s media watchdog has released another list of domestic cinemas it claims are guilty of box office fraud, the second time it has done so since a new film law came into force in March this year.
26 ‘egregious offenders’ from twelve provinces were named and shamed by the Chinese Film Distribution and Screening Association last Tuesday. According to the announcement, most of the named cinemas were found responsible for fraudulent ticket sales figures.
One cinema located in the southern Chinese city of Guangdong was found guilty of running a ‘dual ticketing system’, though what that exactly entailed was not explained. Authorities have not imposed any punishments as of press time.
The State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film, and Television said the new ‘black list’ signaled their determination to crack down on any industry practices that may disrupt an orderly domestic film market.
The official figures show fraud is most rife in the country’s smallest cities with 21 of the 26 cinemas hailing from third and fourth-tier cities. No players in the country’s most well-off cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou were named, apart from one cinema under Baoying International Cinema chain in Shenzhen.
In March this year, 326 cinemas were named, shamed and punished for box office fraud with offending theaters either fined or suspended depending on the extent of their fraud.
Among them, 63 offenders were found guilty of box office fraud of around RMB 1 million ($150,000) and were ordered to be shut down for 90 days, while 110 faced fines of RMB 200,000 ($30,544).
Additional reporting Amber Ziye Wang