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Asia Minute: China and Hollywood: Relationship Trouble?


When Secretary of State Rex Tillerson met with Chinese officials this weekend, North Korea was at the top of the agenda. There are a series of other issues when it comes to U.S. China relations. And that includes a high-profile business relationship that is continuing to evolve. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

Most Americans know that products manufactured in China have come to dominate the shelves of Wal-Mart and other stores around the country…including here in Hawai‘i.

And Chinese capital plays a role in everything from financing the debt of the U.S. government to running New York City’s Waldorf Astoria Hotel.

Chinese investment has also become a major player in Hollywood.  But lately there have been some complications.  Nearly five years ago, China’s Dalian Wanda Group bought the AMC Theaters movie chain for more than two and a half billion dollars.

Early last year, the same company spent about three and a half billion dollars to buy a controlling stake in Legendary Entertainment—producer of movies including “Jurassic World.”

Other Chinese companies have invested in films and in studios—but several recent deals have stalled.

Last fall, Dalian Wanda offered about one billion dollars to buy Dick Clark Productions—the folks who bring you programs like the Golden Globes.  But the deal collapsed a little over a week ago.

And now the South China Morning Post reports several other pending deals between China and Hollywood are in trouble.

Reasons remain unclear and could range from corporate issues to a broader trend of the Beijing government starting to slow the pace of capital outflow.

Bill Dorman has been the news director at Hawaiʻi Public Radio since 2011.
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