China's Quota on Hollywood Film Imports Set to Expand, State Media Says
China is expected to expand its quota on foreign film imports and allow Hollywood a greater share of box office revenue after government officials and industry representatives from China and the U.S. meet to renegotiate trade terms later this month, China's state media reported Friday.
The Global Times, an influential state-backed newspaper, predicted that a dozen more films will be added to the quota, citing local industry experts. The outlet also forecast that the share of box-office revenue that U.S. distributors are entitled to take will move from the current 25 percent towards the international average of 40 percent. "Although it might not be as large as the previous 12 percentage points increase," Huang Guofeng, an analyst from Beijing-based consultancy Analysys International, allowed.
China employs various means to protect its growing domestic film industry from Hollywood domination. The most notorious measure is a strict quota limiting the number of foreign movies allowed into the local market on revenue-sharing terms.
Under the current five-year deal, which was signed by former vice president Joe Biden and Chinese president Xi Jinping in February, 2012, China accepts 34 films from overseas per year, with 14 of the titles required to be 3D or large-format movies.
The landmark 2012 agreement, temporarily resolved a bitter trade dispute between the U.S. and China, which had involved Washington filing an official complaint with the World Trade Organization alleging that China unfairly restricted access to its market. Previously, China had allowed just 20 imported films and foreign distributors got only 13 percent of revenue.