Understanding China, One Blog at a Time

An American in China

Archive for January 27th, 2010

Avatar RIP in China- China Pulls the Plug on Avatar

Posted by w_thames_the_d on January 27, 2010


Move over Google, China is gunning for you Avatar. Yes, it is true, the Chinese government is ordering the movie to be pulled – article here, official China version here, other here. Unlike Google or Youtube, or Twitter, it is not due to pornography, bad language nor inciting unrest it is just plain money and to prevent from losing face (to celebrate their 60th anniversary, China produced- “The Founding of a Republic”, which made $61 million in early 2009- Avatar has almost doubled that. Caveat, all State Owned Enterprises were mandated to watch this Chinese film-thus the reason for the large numbers, and ALL of my colleagues were suggest to do so as well.)

The Chinese government has a rule where only 20 foreign movies can be shown per year, and these movies can not earn more than 50% of the revenue of all films for the year. WTF??

Just look at that statement, are their flicks so shitty that only 20 imported movies can earn as much as THEY PRODUCE IN AN ENTIRE YEAR? The answer is yes, have you ever seen the shit they produce? Unless you want to watch boring garbage from the Qin dynasty or those enthralling sagas of how China defended herself from those evil Japanese, or blatant blockbuster knockoffs (they made a Chinese version of Transformers that was laughable) — then basically they produce movies about as good as they produce milk- toxic. I am no expert, but they are ghastly. Culturally, however there is much to learn about China vis a bis their recent actions, my analysis below.

The government has said that they need to protect their movie industry, this is part of a move to do so:

-How  far removed from the realities of open market forces is this government if they think they can force citizens to view movies that are substandard- and worse yet, attempt to export those movies. They really have no idea of what free markets are all about- that people make decisions based on quality

-the Chinese government has no idea or is far removed from the realities of the world, world markets, world needs- at least in terms of products, especially those of entertainment
-wtf, protect it, isnt competition good, do they expect to get good by continually offering horseshit about some history that is not relevant to over 5 billion people
-the government said it will put more money into its domestic industry to assist it- yeah that will work, the Chinese government must learn that this is not like a bribe- throwing money at something or someone is not always the way to move forward in business
-the Chinese government wants to expand its movie industry overseas- Yeah, uh, I live here and didnt watch TV nor a movie till I got cable- dont get me wrong, Hong Kong and Taiwan haves some great shows, but here it is dismal, poor quality, poor story lines, I guess by the government controlling the media and forcing its voice, it is producing stuff that the typical consumer cant stomach- let alone international crowds.
-protect the industry- Common response by the Chinese government, aside from blaming the Japanese and Europe for land grabs and heroin addiction for example.
-by removing the movie they show how they control the masses, force them to do or not do things, as the government deems necessary
believe that by hiding their heads in the sand, throwing around cash then reappearing they will rise like the Phoenix, they dont realize that creativity must be fomented, it cannot be forced.
-in reality by cutting off the show, they are protecting local interests- all of those people hawking illegal DBD’s ( I am not being flippant here)

Really dont mean to be acerbic here, but this is typical thinking on the part of the Chinese government- state rights and interests will win out, the masses may suffer but they will accept it, China will run the movie Confucius and hope it grosses a ton (maybe fabricate numbers to prove that it did) and then all will go to bed happy. My anguish and compassion goes to the typical person here who sees the light, knows what is going on, but is stuck, I always have my home country.

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And Another..

Posted by w_thames_the_d on January 27, 2010


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More from the Subway in Beijing

Posted by w_thames_the_d on January 27, 2010


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“Chinese Iphone” – Copyright infringement in China

Posted by w_thames_the_d on January 27, 2010


Picture here of some ‘made in China’ Iphones. These are fakes, have less functionality but other than that visually the same as the Iphones. This was taken at the Silk Street Market.

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Shanghai life- Buildings in Shanghai- Puxi area

Posted by w_thames_the_d on January 27, 2010


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What is that?

Posted by w_thames_the_d on January 27, 2010


Fomtain- I guess it is like a fountain, but with chinese characteristics…READ the SIGN CAREFULLY

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Selling Innocence- Cultural Divide We Cant Imagine

Posted by w_thames_the_d on January 27, 2010


I watched this great show last night on CNBC- I think. It was about child prostitution in Laos Cambodia etc. and one man’s fight against it. What struck me was that they in Southeast Asia have identical notions of childhood fidelity to the family as Chinese in China- I will explain later. But the essence of this show was that prostitution and selling of children is a huge global problem.

One of the reasons, is that the parents actually will sell their children, to pay off debts or to gain things. To anyone in the west or most of the world, this is deplorable. The idea of the sanctity of an innocent child and protection of his or her rights are inviolable- unfortunately in Asia this must not be the case.

Let me explain. In China, they have something called xiao (means small), or the 24 books of xiao ( I believe this is a useful link). And what this convention means is that the child must do whatever is possible to SUPPORT his family- he must aspire to make their lives better. Contrast this to the west where it is vice-versa, we try to provide them a better life, but this is not so in China. In China, the child MUST provide for his folks, I have found this to be true in practice as well.

The impact of xiao, as I was told, and the show Selling innocence touched on, was that children will be sold by their parents or will submit themselves to servitude or act as sex workers, just so their parents have money. The children see this as a noble or honorable task. Take a moment to let that sink in…

A child here feels that it is a noble thing to sell himself so that his parents can live…

Some may argue that in China the parents do much for the kids, we have all heard of the little emperors who want for nothing. I would submit, that this is not inconsistent with what I have said before. In China, they have no real social security system, and by 2020 they will have about 500 million people of retirement age. That is 1.6 times the population of America, or 3 times the population of Brazil- all over 55. This is a huge drain on the social welfare system, and basically they have none. So the solution is xiao- the children. It is culturally demanded that the children support their folks in thier old age. Now remember that their folks must support their folks (the kids grandparents)so the modern burden is not only ones parents, but to support grandparents as well. Thus, according to almost all my chinese friends, these ‘acts of kindness’ meted to the children are nothing more than a form of social security. Give a child a chance (good English, math skills) and he can travel, get a better job. The kids should give around 20% of their salary to their folks, so it is in the parents best interest to see the child obtain as much wealth as he can.

Sound jaded, like I am blowing smoke, how about this… PKU (Bei DA- Peking University) has just made the notion of xiao a part of thier acceptance policies- not an obediant son, cant get in. It is a different world here, you can magnify what you hear by a factor of 2 or 3 and still not really understand- I am just doing my part.

Posted in Big brother..., China, China Fact, Counterfeits and such, Cultural oddities, Food, Let me educate you..., People, Prices in China, Product Quality, Ranting in general, Subway, Traffic, Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

Beijing Skyline from My Window

Posted by w_thames_the_d on January 27, 2010


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Panda Rabiit- No camouflage

Posted by w_thames_the_d on January 27, 2010


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