Understanding China, One Blog at a Time

An American in China

China and Pirate DVD’s

Posted by w_thames_the_d on March 24, 2011

Here is a great article about the prevalence of illegal DVD’s in China. Unless you have been here, You probably cannot imagine how much pirating goes on.

from here
Asked if she had ever bought a legal foreign DVD, she replied: “Never. And even if I wanted to, there’s nowhere to go. Legal DVDs are like democracy – they don’t exist in China.”

Thanks to globalization, rising incomes and the spread of the Internet, Chinese consumers such as Zhou have an interest in Hollywood movies like never before – “Avatar,” for instance, grossed more money in China than any other country besides the United States. But their options for legal viewing of foreign films remain scant.

China allows only about 20 foreign movies into theaters each year, and has strict licensing rules for the sale of home entertainment products. Censors must approve of all films for legal viewing and would certainly frown upon fare such as “Black Swan,” with its explicit sex scenes, and “The Social Network,” which is about Facebook – a service that the Chinese government blocks.

With no outlets akin to Netflix, Blockbuster or iTunes legitimately selling or renting a broad selection of titles, Chinese movie buffs opt for illegal Internet downloads or pirated DVDs. More and more piracy has migrated to the Web in China, though reliable estimates of its magnitude are hard to find. Still, bootleg DVDs – slickly produced and packaged, some with “extras” even better than those found on legitimate discs – remain a huge business and give an indication of the scale of the problem: According to a report in state-run media, the country’s pirate DVD industry raked in $6 billion in 2010. By comparison, China’s box-office receipts totaled $1.5 billion last year.

Read more: http://www.kansascity.com/2011/03/23/2746635/pirated-dvds-of-hollywood-films.html#ixzz1HU0b4mPK

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