US and Chinese film industries - copycat or cooperation?

US and Chinese Film Industries – Copycat or Cooperation?

News this week comes of another unexpected economic milestone in the US-China relationship. A Chinese firm buys AMC Entertainment from Apollo and Carlyle Group to become the largest U.S. theater operator overnight. Via China Daily Mail.


AMC Empire 25 (cinema) 234 West 42nd St. New York (Times Square), Manhattan, New York City (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Following a generation of complaints about United States firms’ frustration at investing in China, this development is surprising for many reasons.  One of the more interesting elements is the fact that the acquiring firm is a private enterprise.  Among the many complaints of U. S. investors seeking access to China has been the role and interference of the state-owned enterprises and the political estate in China, which has made it difficult for foreign investors to take viable stakes in China.  There’s also a parallel issue of longstanding disputes between the U. S. and China on intellectual property and market access (in the film industry, in particular), which makes this almost unthinkable event all the more ironic, given the lack of major progress on those intractable trade issues over the past decades.



China Daily Mail

China’s Dalian Wanda Group agreed to acquire AMC Entertainment for $2.6 billion, becoming the biggest theatre operator in the U.S. by revenue.

Ties between the U.S. and Chinese movie industries have warmed after China agreed in February to open its market to more American films, with DreamWorks Animation announcing a landmark deal in the same month to build a production studio in Shanghai.

AMC and Wanda had held off-and-on discussions about a possible deal more than a year ago. Talks grew serious after AMC, the world’s largest operator of IMAX screens, cancelled its plans to go public, according to media reports.

“This acquisition will help make Wanda a truly global cinema owner, with theatres and technology that enhance the movie-going experience for audiences in the world’s two largest movie markets,” Wang Jianlin, chairman and president of Wanda, said in a press release on Monday.

By acquiring AMC, part-owned by…

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