Kowtowing to China has become a reflex for US film studios in search of a piece of booming – and lucrative – Chinese market, reports today’s issue of The Guardian
“In Hollywood, the screenwriter William Goldman once observed, “nobody knows anything”. Now, however, everybody knows at least one thing: whatever you do, be nice to China.
“If your movie features a Chinese villain, change his nationality. If your plot omits a scene in China, insert one – preferably with gleaming skyscrapers. If your production deal lacks a Chinese partner, find one. If Beijing’s censors dislike certain scenes, cut them. Kow-towing to China has become a reflex for actors, writers, producers, directors and studio executives in pursuit of the world’s second-biggest box office, a trend set to intensify as China overtakes the US as the No 1 film market.
“Recent blockbusters such as Iron Man 3 and Django Unchained, and others in the pipeline such as Transformers 4 and Brad Pitt’s World War Z, have been modified to please Chinese authorities and audiences, prompting accusations of artistic surrender.”It’s got to the point where everyone is thinking: how are we going to make a movie that, at the very least, is not offensive to the Chinese public?” said Peter Shiao, chair of the US-China Film Summit and founder and CEO of the Los Angeles-based Orb Media Group.Screenplays look beyond China for baddies, he said. Continue reading “Hollywood’s surrender to China”
A recent article published on Tea Leaf Nation, and tweeted by Tricia Wang, explains what the flesh searches are
and how they change China. SmartMods reports that “Despite their ghoulish resonance, they refer to grassroots, collaborative efforts to share and probe personal information online with the goals of romance, kinship, justice, or vindication.They are netizen initiatives to solve cases of injustice and cruelty left unbalanced by a society that is not democratic and has no rule of law, where the government officials show innefficiency, detachment, or even smugness in the face of public tragedies or social injustices.
“Which was the case of Yang Dacai, a government official, who’s grinning face while watching the burning bus that killed 36 people in August was tweeted via Sina Weibo, the China’s Tweeter. His dispassionate smile, contrasting the tragedy he was witnessing, and his expensive tastes in watches, belts, and eyeglasses that didn’t match the his meager wage as a government employee triggered the “cyber vigilatism” of the netizens (as Rebecca MacKinnon called it in her article) and prompted a flesh search. Yang was eventually dismissed from his position as chief of Shaanxi Safety Supervision Bureau. Continue reading “Human flesh searches explained”
Apple said a Chinese labor agent forged documents on behalf of underage workers as the world’s most-valuable technology company seeks to improve conditions at suppliers making iPhones, iPads and Macs. Bloomberg News reports that
“The electronics company also stopped doing business with a manufacturer that employed 74 people younger than 16 who used the faked papers, according to its annual Supplier Responsibility Report released today. The recruiter was reported to provincial authorities, fined and had its license suspended. ‘Underage labor is a subject no company wants to be associated with, so as a result I don’t believe it gets the attention it deserves, and as a result it doesn’t get fixed like it should,’ Jeff Williams, Cupertino, California-based Apple’s senior vice president of operations, said in an interview. Continue reading “Apple stops using teen labor in China”
“Air pollution in Beijing has reached truly apocalyptic proportions,” reports today’s Asia Times.
“Last week saw the highest smog measurements for north Chinese skies since the implementation of modern monitoring methods. Vulnerable residents of the Chinese capital were advised to stay indoors, as facemasks and air filtration systems were sold in record numbers. On Monday, kindergartens and primary schools in Beijing suspended outdoor physical education classes to protect vulnerable young bodies from the noxious haze.
“The toxic air that stagnates around Beijing could be blown away by a serious rearranging of national priorities. Continue reading ““Airocalypse” Now”