WTO rules restrict media in China

Scott Tong Dec 22, 2009
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WTO rules restrict media in China

Scott Tong Dec 22, 2009
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TEXT OF STORY

Bill Radke: Today, Beijing said it regrets a decision by the World Trade Organization that sides against China. It has to do with market restrictions that China put up against makers of books, movies, songs and video games. From Shanghai, Marketplace’s Scott Tong reports.


Scott Tong: The Chinese rules that got struck down restrict Hollywood and other media providers. These industries have had to distribute their products through Chinese state-owned middlemen. With the WTO ruling, Beijing is expected to cut them out, so it’d be good for Hollywood.

But Wilmerhale attorney Lester Ross in Beijing says it’s not the final act; there are other hurdles in China.

Lester Ross: China’s fundamentals controls with respect to censorship and the actual number of films that are imported for theatrical release, those will not change under the WTO decision.

U.S. video game designers are also watching. Shanghai lawyer Greg Pilarowski says the Americans are largely frozen out of China. But that could change, depending on the new rules. And China’s online game sector is big.

Greg Pilarowski: A lot bigger than movies and it’s a lot bigger than music. It’s the one that potentially could be the most lucrative to foreign companies.

If Beijing ignores the ruling, the U.S. could impose trade sanctions.

In Shanghai, I’m Scott Tong for Marketplace.

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