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Shanghai Considers Film Industry Incentives

HONG KONG – Shanghai may introduce incentives to attract film makers to shoot and post-produce in the city.

The Shanghai Film Working Conference, a committee bringing together nine government departments, has proposed that the rate of corporate tax for film companies be cut to 15%. The committee also wants cash incentives for production and post.

A RMB 200 million cash pool is proposed that would potentially include subsidy for establishment of a location attraction operation, film fund raising and even the hiring of foreign consultants.

It is not clear which of the proposed measures would be available to foreign movie productions and companies.

The city is today’s China’s financial capital and in the early 20th century was the capital of its film industry. That role now belongs to Beijing and the two cities are locked in rivalry on many levels, including film festivals.

Shanghai was the location just over a year ago of the launch of China’s first Free Trade Zone. A 29 sq km zone on the edge of the city was supposed to attract foreign companies with low cost company formation and amenities that they would be familiar with abroad. However, while it has eased trade in physical goods, especially seafood, the zone has largely disappointed the service industry.

Promises of uncensored access to the Internet in the zone have been reversed and while Microsoft’s X-box has been allowed in, import of other gaming and video consoles remain on a case by case basis. The zone still has a ‘negative list’ of 139 items which cannot be traded, down from 190 at its launch.

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