The Chinese government has released a new set of guidelines that could restrict overseas investment in the television and film space.
According to the new rules issued Aug. 18 by China’s state council – the chief administrative body – industries on the restricted list include real estate, hotels, entertainment, sports clubs, outdated industries and projects in countries with no diplomatic ties to China.
The goal of the new guidelines is to “drive the output of China’s products, technology and services, and deepen cooperation with countries involved in the Belt and Road Initiative,” the press release said.
As part of its development strategy, China is looking to export its tech and equipment; upgrade the nation’s research and manufacturing capacity and cooperate with others on energy to make up for the shortage of domestic resources.
“Overseas investments against the peaceful development, win-win cooperation, and China’s macro control policies will be restricted,” the release noted.
These new restrictions, including those on entertainment, follows China’s path since early 2016 to tighten the number of foreign formats allowed in the market and impose a full ban on Korean formats, which had previously made up 40% of formats sold in the country.
Speaking at the Realscreen Summit held in Washington DC in January 2017, Richard Bradley, managing director of UK-based Lion Television, said the Chinese government’s tough stance was prompted by a desire to expand their own domestic creative industry, with a focus on developing local IP and exporting it globally than vice versa.
“China has gone from being the country that makes television hardware to wanting to make content to wanting to own content,” he said.
In November 2016, Chinese real estate and media conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group moved to acquire Dick Clark Productions for US$1 billion – a first foray for the company into the television production industry. However, the deal died in March.