AKIPRESS.COM - China has passed a law that bans film content deemed harmful to the “dignity, honor and interests” of the country. It also encourages the promotion of “socialist core values”, according to The Guardian.
Booming box-office receipts have drawn Hollywood studios and a growing Chinese film-making industry into fierce competition for the Asian giant’s movie market, which some analysts predict will soon eclipse that of the U.S.
The new laws govern the promotion of the film industry and were approved by the National People’s Congress standing committee at a meeting in Beijing.
The law states that its aim is to “spread core socialist values”, enrich the masses’ spiritual and cultural life, and set ground rules for the industry.
It forbids content that stirs up opposition to the law or constitution, harms national unity, sovereignty or territorial integrity, exposes national secrets, harms Chinese security, dignity, honor or interests, or spreads terrorism or extremism.
Also banned are subjects that “defame the people’s excellent cultural traditions”, incite ethnic hatred or discrimination, or destroy ethnic unity.
The law says films should “serve the people and socialism”. Foreign film-makers “damaging China’s national dignity, honor and interests, or harming social stability or hurting national feelings” were not welcome.
Companies that work on such content now face fines of up to five times their illegal earnings over 500,000 yuan ($73.7 thousand).
Fines will also be imposed for providing false box-office data, a widespread problem as firms have been caught pumping up ticket sales to generate marketing buzz.
The new laws also lay out stricter rules for actors and film-makers, saying people employed in the industry should have “excellent” moral integrity and “self-discipline”. This follows recent instances of celebrities being caught taking drugs.
The law has been in development since 2011, and will come into effect on 1 March 2017.