Chinese cinemas told to ease off from government

Published: 3 April 2020 - 5 a.m.
By: Nikhil Pereira

China is hoping that people don't hit the cinemas just as yet, despite a few opening following the restrictions being lifted as the country was seen to do enough to combat Coronovirus.

The country's National Film Bureau issued its first public statement a few days ago in which it stressed healthy amounts of streaming content available online, rather than getting cinemas back to work.

The notice follows an address by Chinese President Xi Jinping on how the film industry should proceed at a time when other businesses are getting back on their feet. He told cinemas to stay shut for the time being.

The statement added that the bureau was working in collaboration with China’s Ministry of Finance and other departments to “research and launch… preferential fiscal and taxation exemption policies… so as to actively respond to the epidemic’s impact.”

The statement continued: “At the same time, we will increase our support for the creation and distribution of key films, and guide local governments to introduce policies and measures to bail out film companies and help them develop.

“The National Film Bureau is also actively organizing high-quality film resources to enrich the supply of online films so as to meet people’s current need for watching movies at home.”

It was estimated that around 5% of cinema houses in China had been slowly rolling the shutters back up before they were abruptly told to stop operations late last week.

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