Headlines from China: Netflix to Produce First Chinese Language Original Series


Netflix to Produce First Chinese Language Original Series
Netflix has announced that it will produce its first Chinese language original series: an eight-episode jailbreak thriller called Bardo. The series will be directed by Taiwanese filmmaker Sam Quah, whose short film The Free Man was nominated for the Student Academy Awards in 2014. This year, the number of Netflix’s international subscribers surpassed the number of its domestic subscribers for the first time. With a newly signed licensing deal with Chinese streaming site iQiyi, it was inevitable that Netflix would start producing Chinese language content. Read more on Q Daily

Tibetan Film Soul on a String to be Released on August 18 in China
Tibetan pilgrimage film Paths of the Soul‘s box office success surprised many early this summer, and reignited hope for Chinese art-house cinema. After shooting Paths of the Soul in 2014, director Zhang Yang shot another Tibetan film Soul on a String with the same cast and crew. Recently, Soul on a String premiered in Beijing. Director Zhang Yang attended the premiere and announced that the film will be theatrically released across China on August 18. In Soul on a String, a Tibetan wanderer embarks on a mission to bring a divine artifact back to its rightful home on a holy mountain. Read more on yingshidushe

Popular Movie Review Site Douban to Prepare for an Overseas IPO
According to a recent letter from Douban CEO Yang Bo to his employees, the company will prioritize monetization during the second half of 2017. Objectives include increasing app users, implementing independent budgeting for each division, and shutting down products and services with negative profit margins. The implementation of independent budgeting is part of the company’s efforts to prepare for an overseas IPO filing. Founded in 2005, Douban currently has over 150 million registered users. Read more on Ent Group

New Regulations to Restrict Entertaining Content for Prime Time
The State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SARFT) of the People’s Republic of China recently announced new regulations regarding TV programming and scheduling. The new regulations encourage broadcasters to schedule more educational content related to culture, technology, and business. In addition, SARFT requires broadcasters to enhance their regulations of variety shows, increasing original shows that promote Chinese culture, and rejecting shows from airing on prime time that are adapted from foreign versions. Read more on People’s Daily

Passionate Fans Can’t Save the Box Office of Once Upon A Time
The box office of Chinese fantasy drama Once Upon A Time has been dropping significantly after a strong debut on August 3. The film’s strong opening was made possible by the passionate fans of the lead actors who bought presale tickets at every theater that plays the film. This is a strategy used to guarantee a strong opening and to avoid a reduction in screenings. Once support from fans is exhausted, the film’s true appeal starts to manifest. Read more on Q Daily