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Draft film law to punish box office fraud, give warnings to minors
   2016-08-30 16:06:33    Xinhua/CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Huang Shan

A still from the Kung Fu film 'Ip Man 3'. [Photo: mtime.com]

Box office fraud and protection of teenagers from improper contents have hit the limelight during the second reading of the draft film law.

In March, the distributor of 'Ip Man 3' had their distribution license suspended for jacking up box office figures, which sounded an alarm for the industry.

According to China's film market watchdog, the distributor of 'Ip Man 3' bought 56 million yuan's worth (8.3 million U.S. dollars)of the tickets themselves, and also fabricated more than 7,600 screenings of the film that they claimed generated 32 million yuan in ticket sales.

Observers stressed the quality and reputation of Chinese films will be under threat "if fraud cannot be contained", as the industry saw explosive development.

In response to such illegal behavior, the new draft further addresses box office fraud by nominating film distributors as targets and clarifying what is illegal in terms of box office sales.

It adds a clause urging film distribution companies and cinemas not to fabricate movie ticket sales or engage in improper methods.

Under the revision, people involved in fraud will be liable for administrative punishments, including fines up to 500,000 yuan, business suspensions, and outright bans.

In terms of the film contents, the new draft makes it clear that films should give warnings at the opening, if they contain material which "might cause psychological or physical discomfort" to viewers including minors.

It states that films shall not contain content inciting terrorism and extremism and that all films shall be reviewed by at least three experts designated by the government.

Citizens, corporations and other organizations are granted rights to provide film processing and post-production services for foreign movies, except those may "harm the national dignity and interest of China, cause social instability, or hurt the national feeling".

Acclaimed as the world's second largest film market with box office earnings of more than 30 billion yuan (some 4.49 billion U.S. dollars) as of mid-August, China is predicted to surpass the North American film market by 2017.

The bill also calls for people working in the film industry to strive for "excellence in both professional skills and moral integrity," and build a positive public image.

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