Headlines from China: Bytedance’s Video Platforms to Stream Chinese New Year Film ‘Lost in Russia’ for Free

Bytedance’s Video Platforms to Stream Chinese New Year Film ‘Lost in Russia’ for Free

Following the cancellations of Chinese New Year films due to the coronavirus outbreak, Huanxi Media, the producer of the Chinese new year film Lost in Russia, announced that the film would be released online for free. This is the first time a Chinese New Year film chooses to premiere online without having a wide theatrical release. According to the announcement, Lost in Russia will be streamed for free on January 25 through multiple streaming services owned by ByteDance and Huanxi Media, including Douyin, Toutiao, Xigua Video, Huoshan, Huanxi Premium, and smart TV app Wasu Fresh Time (“华数鲜时光”). The new release plan comes as a result of a deal between Bytedance and Huanxi Media. By paying Huanxi Media at least RMB 630 million, Bytedance forms a strategic partnership with Huanxi Media and gain rights to a variety of content owned by Huanxi, including the rights to Lost in Russia. The news came as a pleasant surprise to many Chinese audiences while movie theaters are angered. Read more on zhipianrenneican

Multiple Cinema Chains Shut Down Temporarily in Response to Coronavirus Outbreak

China’s multiple cinema chains decided to close their theatres during the Chinese New Year holiday in response to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. Among them, nationwide cinema chains Jinyi, Dadi, Lumiere Pavilions, UME and CGV closes their theatres from Jan.24 – 27 temporarily. Henan’s Oscar cinema chains said to shut down its 27 direct-managed theatres from Jan. 24 but did not promise re-opening date. The company also calls 271 member theatres to act accordingly. By the time of publishing, China’s largest cinema chains Wanda Cinema has not announced a nationwide shutdown plan, although several theatres under the Wanda banner has closed. Wanda has also started ticket refunds without charging fees. In addition, authorities of Wuhan city and Guangdong province have ordered to close local movie theaters during the Chinese New Year holidays. Read more on cqcb.com and Beijing News