Selective Regulation

china flagThis morning’s Times article on dangerously high levels of pollution in China presents an¬†interesting¬†contrast with much of the country’s other, hands-on policies. By virtue of being a Communist state, China owns – outright or in part – and regulates virtually every major national sector. China Mobile? State owned. Phone maker ZTE? Formed from the ribs of state organizations. PertroChina? You betcha. What these degrees of ownership and oversight mean is that, obviously, Beijing plays favorites with homegrown enterprises, and will squeeze or sanction any foreign firms that don’t play by its rules. The Party knows that it has a large consumer base, and it uses that fact as a fulcrum in ensuring that corporations like Disney don’t depict subversive content, Google filters its search results, and Apple provides upgraded customer service. In fact, the latest Apple charge seems strongly government-instigated, demonstrating that if you can’t join ’em (at least in a venture), you might as well beat ’em. Continue reading “Selective Regulation”

The New Hollywood Code

ImageThere is a fascinating article in The New York Times that explores the increasing level of coordination between Hollywood studios and Chinese censors. The studios – like all other industries – want access to China’s vast population, which has newfound disposable income and a greater desire for Western entertainment and material goods. But the Chinese government rigidly filters what elements make their way into theaters, generally censoring extreme sex scenes, religious criticism, and lukewarm sentiments about China itself. These limitations are unsurprising, given the government’s ban on pornography, wariness of religion, and repressive¬†maintenance of a positive national image.

Continue reading “The New Hollywood Code”