China computerizes, centralizes movie tix

BEIJING — The Ministry of Radio, Film and Television has announced that a computerized ticketing sys-tem will be used in Beijing and then gradually expanded to all major cities.

The Windows-based system was developed by China Film, the country’s sole authorized importer of films, and the China Film Technology Research Institute.

The MRFT’s Film Bureau decided that local film distribution and exhibition companies will be required to use the new computer software and has warned such companies to refrain from blindly adopting or importing other sys-tems that are incompatible.

In a related development, film and tax authorities in Guangxi province, in southern China, introduced on Jan. 1 a unified ticketing system for its theaters, with printing, distribution and sale of tickets now centralized.

Other provinces are following Guangxi’s lead. The introduction of the new system is aimed at preventing tax eva-sion by film exhibitors, which has become more common since a recent hike.

In Guangxi, local distrib and exhib companies are now required to apply for tickets to the provincial film company, which in turn informs the tax authorities how many tickets are needed.

The tickets will be printed by designated printers and bear special markings to prevent forgery.

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