How Industrial Policies Shaped the Globalization of the Chinese Film Industry since the 1990s

Xiaolan Zhou

Abstract

The Chinese film industry experienced more than twenty years of reform that has brought undeniable success, however, it has been confronted by a dilemma in the context of globalization: The “coming in” of foreign films and investments is becoming increasingly convenient and profitable, whereas the “going out” of domestic films stays in a stagnant or even retrogressive situation. This issue results from an essential factor: the government’s intervention, as well as its policies. This article endeavors to study the duality of the government’s role in the film industry. First, it generally creates a favorable economic environment, which coincides with Stiglitz’s judgement about the government’s positive function in promoting industries. Marvel films provide us with an example to support this point of view. Second, the inadequacy of the incentive and protective policies denotes the opposite direction taken from the propositions of Michael Porter, who himself is strongly against the direct involvement of the government in the production process, during his demonstration of the diamond model referring to competitive advantages. This paper implies that the government’s intervention should be assessed by new paradigms, for the reason that classic theories, with focus on factor conditions, might not be applicable anymore for neither sophisticated industries, like the film industry, nor such an enormous entity as China.


Keywords

competitive advantages; domestic films; film industry; foreign films; government’s role; industrial policies

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13185/2990