A Supporting Role for Culture at China’s World Internet Conference

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The World Internet Conference in the east coast city of Wuzhen last week sparked a good deal of debate about the China’s influence on global web governance.  In its second year, the conference received a major boost in its significance when President Xi Jinping appeared in person to give a speech on the subject (Last year, he only sent a congratulatory message to mark the event’s opening)

China’s Struggling Screenwriters Fear Being Cut by Alibaba Pictures Proposal

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Last week, Alibaba Pictures vice president Xu Yuanxiang set off a firestorm of controversy among China’s screenwriters when he proposed a new model for crowdsourcing film scripts online that potentially would bypass industry professionals altogether. Read More

The Force Hits Chinese Fashion With Star Wars Marketing Push

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Once Darth Vader hits the catwalks, there’s no denying it—the force is now with big names in the Chinese fashion scene as part of a Disney marketing campaign that is spreading across industries to get Star Wars fans excited for the upcoming film. The craze took hold of the Great Wall last month thanks to Read More

Chinese Stars Promise to Behave, Or Else

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The latest twist in Xi Jinping’s vision of wholesome Chinese culture involves Chinese celebrities pledging their adherence to morally upstanding conduct. It would be difficult to imagine a similar scene in Hollywood, with, say, Jennifer Lawrence and Warner Brothers CEO Kenji Tsujihara proclaiming their intention to behave according to government directives. Yet that is exactly Read More

Chinese Filmmakers Zhang Yimou and Zhang Zhao Honored in Hollywood

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Over 20 years ago, Zhang Zhao was a bicycle delivery man working his way through film school at New York University. One day, the Shanghai native bought a ticket to Farewell My Concubine, his countryman Chen Kaige’s 1993 epic movie about Beijing Opera players caught up in mid-century political turmoil. “[The movie] made me cry Read More

Wang Jianlin’s Open Lecture at Harvard Gets Partial Shutdown at Home

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Dalian Wanda Group chairman Wang Jianlin (a.k.a. China’s richest man) is perhaps the leading representative for the realization of the “Chinese Dream,” a vision of a revitalized national greatness that takes global soft power as a central theme. Yet even as Wang’s empire reaches around the globe, his words are being curtailed back home. Last week, Read More

Film Looms Large in Lego’s China Business Interests

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In the recent high-profile public relations battle between artist Ai Weiwei and Lego, significant attention has been directed to the toy behemoth’s rapidly growing business interests in China. Read More

China’s Filmmakers Directed to Heed Socialism—Will Hollywood Follow?

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Just days after the recent publication of the full transcript of Chinese president Xi Jinping’s major speech on arts and culture from October 2014, the country’s top leadership gave further indication that Xi’s retro vision of patriotic and morality-infused entertainment is meant to have an actual impact on China’s cultural scene. On October 20, the Read More

Chinese Hits Miss Out on the Global Box Office

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If he’d had the time after meeting American captains of industry in Seattle and Barack Obama at the White House, Chinese President Xi Jinping might have ducked out at the close of his United Nations appearance and into a New York movie theater to check on how China’s other soft power ambassadors—its movies, not its Read More

Xi’s U.K. Visit Yields Deals in Entertainment and Media

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Chinese president Xi Jinping’s state visit to the United Kingdom ushers in a widely heralded “golden age”  in relations between the two countries, and may also represent a watershed for China’s global soft-power ambitions. Creativity and cultural exchange are “at the heart of developments” in the strengthening of the U.K.-China relationship, according to the British Read More