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Bollywood to take benefit from US-China trade friction, feel Chinese experts

By Shubham

Beijing, July 16: One of the beneficiaries of the escalating trade tension between the US and China could be India's film industry - Bollywood. In a piece carried by China's Global Times recently, it was said that as China's appetite for Hollywood movies faded because of the trade friction, it could create an opportunity for the Indian film fraternity to take full use of the world's fastest growing film market, experts predicted.

Bollywood to take benefit from US-China trade friction, feel Chinese experts

Representatives of Hollywood also predicted a potential loss amid the trade dispute, the report cited US's newsweek.com as saying.

According to sources in the US film industry, films would be an easy target for China while retaliating against the tariffs imposed by the Donald Trump administration, the Times cited the report as saying.

"After China and the US reached an agreement in a WTO dispute concerning US film exports in 2012, China increased the quota for foreign films from 20 titles per year to 34, domestic news site people.com.cn reported. However, the agreement was then set to be reviewed after five years, with more rounds of negotiations to come over further opening-up of China's movie market," the Global Times article said.

It was also forecast in February 2017, a month after Trump took over the reins, that his tenure was likely to pose a major obstacle to China-US film cooperation.

"Hollywood movies are part of the services trade, and the impact of the current trade tension will go beyond goods to other areas," the Times quoted Bai Ming, a research fellow at the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation, Beijing, as saying.

This would give Bollywood a boost in China, feel the experts, and fill up the vacuum created by Hollywood's 'retreat'.

"Given the US-China trade friction and Chinese audience's aesthetic fatigue toward American films, the Indian film industry will have greater opportunities," the Times report quoted Tian Guangqiang, assistant research fellow with the National Institute of International Strategy at Beijing-based Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, as saying.

Some Indian films like Dangal and Secret Superstar have done good business in China in the recent times with actor Aamir Khan, who features in both films, turning into a big star in that country but Indian films still have to cover some distance to rise as an alternative to Hollywood in China.

Citing data provided by EntGroup Inc, China's entertainment industry information provider, only eight Indian films were exported to China between 2016 and 2018, while for the US-exported ones, the number is 156 - including those co-produced with other countries.

Indian films have made business of 2.79 billion yuan in China in the last three years, according to EntGroup, the Times reported.

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