Taiwanese movie and television personalities have lost their competitiveness in China due to restrictions on creative expression there, a report commissioned by the Mainland Affairs Council said.
The council on Wednesday last week released the findings of the report, which examined the experiences of Taiwanese working in the movie and film industry who signed contracts in China in the past few years, following Beijing’s incentives to attract Taiwanese talent.
They were required to practice self-censorship and generally encountered difficulties in producing creative content in the face of restrictions imposed by the Chinese government, the report said.
In 2018, Beijing removed limits on the number of Taiwanese who could star in, or be involved in the production of, movies and TV series produced in China, as well as the limits on what percentage of the investment in such productions could come from Taiwanese investors.
China also introduced favorable employment terms for Taiwanese who traveled to China to work on such productions, the council said.
However, at the same time, China introduced restrictions that prohibited movies and TV shows from displaying certain things, such as “bizarre” crimes, “abnormal” sexual behavior, cigarette smoking and alcohol consumption, brawling and materialistic behavior, among other types of content, it said.
China also claimed to have eased the restrictions on the importation of Taiwanese movie and TV content, but in practice it allowed very few films and programs to be imported, it said.
Beijing also restricted the percentage of TV content produced outside of China that could be streamed online there to 30 percent.
Taiwanese traveling to China for work should be aware of the risks posed by China’s tightening of restrictions on expression, it said, citing singers A-mei (阿妹), Deserts Chang (張懸) and Chou Tzu-yu (周子瑜) as examples of Taiwanese artists who have been blacklisted in China over their statements.
The report suggested better cooperation between the government, academia and those in the TV and film industry, as well as the establishment of a platform to help producers with the distribution and marketing of their productions.
“What is needed is a cross-media platform that can expand the scope of Taiwanese TV and film, and can aid in bringing that content to viewers, free of any restraints imposed by foreign governments,” the council quoted the report as saying.
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