MUMBAI: China has stopped giving permission for American films to be shown in its theaters, as per recent media reports.
While the Chinese government has not announced any ban, American movies are no longer being approved for release early next year, according to the New York Times report.
Motion Picture Association of America CEO Dan Glickman was quoted as saying in LA Times that in recent weeks US studios have stopped receiving approvals to show films in China.
“Indications are very strong that if not a formal, then essentially an informal blockade of our product is beginning to take place,” said Glickman told LA Times. Glickman expects the ban to last at least through the first few months of next year.
According to officials quoted in the report, the Chinese action might be in retaliation of the US decision in last April to file an intellectual property rights (IPR) case with the World Trade Organization.
The filing was meant to pressurise China to enforce more strictly its IPR laws against the piracy of US movies and to give American companies greater access to the Chinese market.
NYT report quoted US government officials as saying that they had raised the issue of the ban or suspension of film approvals at high-level economic talks held in Beijing yesterday.
According to the officials, Chinese leaders expressed displeasure with the decision to file the IPR case this year.