Get subscribed to our newsletter
Get interesting updates to your email inbox.
As Beijing cracks down on its entertainment industry, from storied stars to their fan clubs, some non-Chinese filmmakers are scaling back projects they hoped would attract audiences in what has been a lucrative market. In February 2020, Chinese authorities released "Detailed Rules for Reviewing Internet Variety Program Content." Addressing TV and internet program makers, the guidelines say they "should not inappropriately use stars from Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan or foreign countries."
Some Chinese celebrities interpreted the rules to mean they had to relinquish dual citizenship and demonstrate their loyalty to the Chinese Communist Party if they wanted to continue performing in China. Actor and singer Nicholas Tse, who moved from Hong Kong to Vancouver, British Columbia, as a child, said last week in an interview on state-controlled China Central Television (CCTV) that he was renouncing his Canadian citizenship. Other celebrities in the Chinese market who hold dual citizenship are reportedly considering following his lead. For others in the entertainment business, the guidelines have prompted a decoupling with China, even as the film industry has been accused of pandering to the country that was the world's largest movie market in 2020, and China eyes the global film market.
'Netflix is not in China'
Adam Sandler, an American actor, screenwriter, and producer, changed the setting of his forthcoming Netflix comedy "Hustle" from China to Spain because, as he said last month on "The Dan Patrick Show," "Netflix is not in China."
A description of "Hustle" can be found on the entertainment industry website IMDB: "A washed-up basketball scout discovers a phenomenal streetball player while in China and sees the prospect as his opportunity to get back into the NBA." IMDB has yet to identify the film's shooting location. The movie is part of a four-film deal with Sandler that Netflix announced in January. Neither Netflix nor Sandler responded to VOA Mandarin's request for comment.
Adam Sandler, an American actor, screenwriter, and producer, changed the setting of his forthcoming Netflix comedy "Hustle" from China to Spain because, as he said last month on "The Dan Patrick Show," "Netflix is not in China. VOA
Clayton Dube, director of the University of Southern California's U.S.-China Institute, told VOA in an email, "Since Netflix is in Spain and other European or Spanish-speaking markets, it asked Sandler to change the setting of his film hoping that it might be able to use that to spark potential subscriber interest."
Like many American entertainment companies, Netflix didn't crack the Chinese market. In 2017, Netflix signed a content licensing agreement with iQiyi, a Chinese streaming platform, for a subset of Netflix's original series. Two years later, the partnership fell apart. In an interview with CNBC last September, Netflix co-CEO Reed Hastings said the streaming company has been focusing on growth opportunities in the rest of the world but not in China. A year earlier, Hastings said the company had been spending more money on acquiring rights to Mandarin-language content and producing its own original works in Mandarin to appeal to Mandarin speakers outside China.
In an interview with CNBC last September, Netflix co-CEO Reed Hastings said the streaming company has been focusing on growth opportunities in the rest of the world but not in China. VOA
"Netflix tried for years to enter the Chinese market, but it understands now that China's government is not going to permit foreign entertainment platforms to compete with those it controls. Further, it has tightened rules governing foreign content on Chinese platforms," Dube said. Aynne Kokas, assistant professor of media studies at the University of Virginia, told VOA Mandarin in a phone interview that celebrities in the U.S. and China are facing different types of pressure under the crackdown.
"I think that from a financial standpoint, U.S. firms are definitely examining their exposure in China and considering how much they invest and how much they depend on the Chinese market," she said. "But there isn't a requirement from the U.S. government — or even a tacit requirement from the U.S. government — that asks them to stop operating in China in the entertainment section." On the other hand, China's laws covering entertainment can require the advancement of "China's national values, which puts a different type of pressure on Chinese celebrities," she added.
Ignoring China at a cost
But how much does the Western entertainment industry, especially Hollywood, stand to lose if it backs away from the Chinese market? It's almost impossible to estimate because some films that flop in the U.S. may turn a profit after a Chinese market release, according to Wendy Su, an associate professor and expert in Chinese media studies at the University of California-Riverside. "Dwayne Johnson's 'Rampage'  grossed $101 million in the United States but $156 million in China," she said. Some in the entertainment business, however, have already opted out of trying to appease the Chinese government to gain access to the market, according to Su.
Director Quentin Tarantino "refused to observe China's censorship requirement and believed his movie 'Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood' could earn enough profits without the Chinese market," she said. VOA
Director Quentin Tarantino "refused to observe China's censorship requirement and believed his movie 'Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood' could earn enough profits without the Chinese market," she said. Released in July 2019, the Oscar-winning film Tarantino wrote and directed earned $139 million domestically and $357.4 million worldwide by the end of October, according to Forbes.
Stanley Rosen, a political science professor at the University of Southern California, told VOA in a virtual interview that the loss for companies such as Netflix may be bearable. For the Chinese film sector, Rosen said, "you have to also take into account that there is a quota system: 34 revenue-sharing films a year, 14 of which have to be IMAX and/or 3D. So that limits the market, to begin with. Then all the studios are fighting to get their share of the quota." In the TV industry, the main Chinese streaming services once showed more than 100 foreign TV series without censorship. Now that practice has been "very severely restricted after new regulations began to be introduced in 2014 that would make it even more difficult for Netflix [to get in]," Rosen said.
Today "you have to submit the whole season in advance with subtitles when censorship occurs if they allow you to show it," Rosen continued. "So Netflix is not losing what they might have lost when they first tried to get into China when the market was much more open."
Netflix is not losing what they might have lost when they first tried to get into China when the market was much more open." Photo by Thibault Penin on Unsplash
What China needs from US
While many experts agree that the U.S. and China are mutually dependent in the entertainment sector, Katherine Chu, a lecturer at California State University-Dominguez Hills, whose research interests include Chinese/Asian film studies, emphasized that China, for now, needs the U.S. for its platform, established studios, talent, and technology. She said these U.S. resources could help China with its "aggressive plan to dominate the fair market in 2035."
In May 2019, Beijing called for the production of 100 movies a year that each would earn more than RMB 100 million ($15 million), according to Variety, an authoritative entertainment industry news outlet. "A country's level of film development reflects its total national strength," said Wang Xiaohui, executive deputy director of the Central Propaganda Department and director of the National Film Bureau, when announcing the movie production goal, according to the state-controlled People's Daily. The Chinese movie industry wants "maybe just a small thing, like a scriptwriter — how to write a film that you can target the world's audience," Chu said. "Because the Chinese, they try very hard to copy the Hollywood model and then to sell their Chinese films."
(Article originally Written by Adrianna Zhang) (VOA/MBI)
Keywords: China, Netflix, Entertainment, Market, Movies, US, Market
By Monika Manchanda
Eating fruits is one of the most satisfying ways to tackle sweet-tooth cravings while meeting your nutritional needs. Despite many studies and research on fruit consumption in diabetes, there are a lot of speculations on the right kind of fruit consumption and its relation to blood sugar levels.
Eating seasonal and locally available fruit has many health benefits ranging from reducing sugar and inflammation levels to fighting high blood pressure -- thanks to their abundant vitamins and mineral presence! They are a powerhouse of antioxidants like vitamins A, B, C, E, and minerals like iron, calcium, magnesium, and fiber.
The fruits listed below are not just diabetic-friendly but are loaded with fiber and water content which can slow down the sugar spikes and sugar absorption rate. Apples are not just nutritious and filling; According to a study, they are significantly associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes if consumed in moderation. Turns out there is a truth in the old saying, "An apple a day keeps the doctor away", after all!
Apples are not just nutritious and filling; According to a study, they are significantly associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes if consumed in moderation. | Photo by Pierpaolo Riondato on Unsplash
Avocados are a great source of healthy fats and more than 20 vitamins and minerals. They are high in fibers as well, and have been linked with lowering the risk of diabetes. Berries: Adding berries is one of the best ways to add a variety to your diabetes-friendly diet. You can choose from blackberries, blueberries, or strawberries because all of them are power-packed with antioxidants, vitamins, and fibers. Papaya is rich in natural oxidants, which makes it a perfect pick for people with diabetes. It reduces the chances of future cell damage.
Star fruit: This sweet and sour fruit is rich in dietary fiber and vitamin C. It also positively impacts anti-inflammatory processes and can help repair cell damage, and it has minimal fruit sugars as well. Kiwi fruit is an excellent source of Vitamin E, K, and potassium, and they are low in fruit sugars as well, which makes it a perfect diabetic-friendly fruit.
Avocados are a great source of healthy fats and more than 20 vitamins and minerals. | Photo by Kristine Wook on Unsplash
Melons (Musk melon and watermelon): Powerful hydrating fruits like cantaloupe and melons are recommended for people with diabetes, and people with the risk of developing diabetes. Eat-in moderation for multiple nutritional benefits like fiber, potassium, magnesium, vitamin B, and C. Dragon fruit is full of dietary fibers, vital vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Pear are nutrient-rich, and they are known to fight inflammation and improve digestion.? Studies also suggest that consuming pears along with a healthy diet reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes. Orange: This citrus fruit is full of fiber that helps slow down sugar absorption into the bloodstream, and its vitamin C component helps improve immunity levels.
Add fruit to your salads to enjoy their goodness with a sprinkle of cinnamon, it tastes better and reduces sugar spikes . | Photo by Jo Sonn on Unsplash
Add fruit to your salads to enjoy their goodness with a sprinkle of cinnamon, it tastes better and reduces sugar spikes . Add nuts like walnuts and almonds to complement your fruit snack. you can also add flaxseeds to balance the glycemic load in the body. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Diabetics, Apples, Star fruit, Pear, Melons, Kiwi fruit
By Nimerta C Sharan
Your monthly round up of the latest lifestyle launches, from luxury indulgences to artisanal creations, here's what you can look forward to :
Exciting news for all handbag lovers, luxury fashion house Louis Vuitton recently launched their limited edition handbags 'Artycapucines - Chapter 3'. Six internationally -- acclaimed artists have transformed the black canvas of the timeless Capucines bag into beautiful art pieces. Each bag will be available in a limited edition of 200 and will be released worldwide at the end of October 2021.
Exciting news for all handbag lovers, luxury fashion house Louis Vuitton recently launched their limited edition handbags. | Photo by Erik Mclean on Unsplash
Add To Cart
Looking for a quick festive fashion fix for you and your loved ones? E-commerce giant AJIO has announced it's hottest fashion sale starting September 30, 2021. The shopping platform has roped in stylista Sonam Kapoor as the face of the sale that will offer more than 2500 brands at discounted prices.
E-commerce giant AJIO has announced it's hottest fashion sale starting September 30, 2021. | Photo by Mitchell Luo on Unsplash
The country's leading design house, Good Earth, in collaboration with textile designer Madeline Weinrib will present its collection of 'butah' motif dinnerware and home textiles at the Metropolitan Museum of Arts, New York. The 'Heirloom Project' that honours diverse Islamic design techniques will display curated products from across the globe.
The 'Heirloom Project' that honours diverse Islamic design techniques will display curated products from across the globe. | Photo by Jean Vella on Unsplash
Sweet dreams are made of this! Iconic French patisserie Laduree has opened its first Indian outpost at Delhi's upscale Khan Market. Spread over three floors, the bakery currently has twelve macaron flavours, their signature pastries and tea cakes and other brunch and high-tea items on the menu. Bon appetit.
Iconic French patisserie Laduree has opened its first Indian outpost at Delhi's upscale Khan Market. | Pixabay
Bright And Beautiful
Raw Mango's latest festive edit 'Moomal' goes live on their website on September 26, 2021. Inspired by the richness and diversity of Rajasthan, the collection consists of organza and silk saris and shararas, gota lehengas and kurtas and embroidered odhnis. The colours and silhouettes are just right for the upcoming festive season. (IANS/ MBI)
Raw Mango's latest festive edit 'Moomal' goes live on their website on September 26, 2021. | Photo by Souravi Sinha on Unsplash
Keywords: Lifestle, AJIO, sale, Deepika PAdukone, saris, Motifs, artisan, art
Actress Kangana Ranaut has talked about how her weight adjustments for her latest 'Thalaivii' that "messed up many things" in her body and left her with "permanent stretch marks". For her role in the film, based on the life of late Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and former actress J. Jayalalithaa, Kangana had to gain 20kg and undergo major physical transformation several times.
She took to Instagram to share her experience, detailing that doing all that over the six months period left her with "permanent stretch marks". "Gaining 20 kgs in 6 months and loosing it all within 6 months that too in my thirties messed up many things in my bodya I also have permanent stretch marks as well but art comes to life with a price and more often than not price is the artist him/herself," she wrote.
"Thalaivii" showcases the varied aspects of Jayalalithaa's life, tracing her journey as an actress at a young age to becoming the face of Tamil cinema, as well as the rise of the revolutionary leader who changed the course of the state's politics. Talking about her upcoming works, Kangana currently has 'Dhaakad'.
She is also shooting for her next 'Tejas', where she plays a fighter pilot. The Indian Air Force was the first of the country's defence forces to induct women into combat roles in 2016. The film takes inspiration from the landmark event. 'Tejas' is directed by debutant Sarvesh Mewara. The film will be RSVP's second film which pays a tribute to the Indian military after the immensely successful film "Uri: The Surgical Strike" which was released in January 2019. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Kangana Ranaut, Thalaivii, bollywood, stretc marks, actress, tamil cinema