China says no to film ratings

Regulator: classification system would be 'inappropriate'

BEIJING — China’s top industry regulator, the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television, said that an ongoing debate about a film classification system must end now and that China had no plans to introduce such a system as it was “inappropriate.”

“We did a lot of investigation and research in both the overseas and domestic market, but decided that the movie classification system is not appropriate for the Chinese movie market currently,” said Zhao Shi, vice minister of SARFT.

“China is developing its own way to maintain the management of the movie market in a legal, scientific and effective way, and this ‘own way’ would be more suitable for China’s domestic conditions and the reform of China’s movie business,” she said.

Many in the film business had hoped that a film classification system would be introduced as it would bypass the need for censorship.

As it stands in China, either everyone gets to see a movie — from toddler to teen to pensioner — or no one does. In the absence of a film classification system, there is no middle ground, and filmmakers in China believe that if the censor’s scissors were replaced with a reliable ratings system, helmers and producers could take more risks with content and story.

The censorship process also takes a long time, meaning there can often be a hiatus between a pic’s international bow and its Chinese preem, giving pirates ample time to flood the market with good DVD copies of the movie for impatient filmgoers.

More Film

  • (L to R) Young Rosie (ALEXA

    'Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again,' 'The Equalizer 2' Eye Debuts Above Forecasts

    BEIJING — China’s top industry regulator, the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television, said that an ongoing debate about a film classification system must end now and that China had no plans to introduce such a system as it was “inappropriate.” “We did a lot of investigation and research in both the overseas and […]

  • Durban 2018 Panel on Sexual Harrasment

    For Black Women in South African Film Biz, Equality Still a Struggle

    BEIJING — China’s top industry regulator, the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television, said that an ongoing debate about a film classification system must end now and that China had no plans to introduce such a system as it was “inappropriate.” “We did a lot of investigation and research in both the overseas and […]

  • 'Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse' Teases Spider-Ham

    'Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse' Teases Spider-Ham, Other Webspinners

    BEIJING — China’s top industry regulator, the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television, said that an ongoing debate about a film classification system must end now and that China had no plans to introduce such a system as it was “inappropriate.” “We did a lot of investigation and research in both the overseas and […]

  • Venom Comic-Con

    'Venom' Creators Promise 'Huge World,' Tease Spider-Man Fight

    BEIJING — China’s top industry regulator, the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television, said that an ongoing debate about a film classification system must end now and that China had no plans to introduce such a system as it was “inappropriate.” “We did a lot of investigation and research in both the overseas and […]

  • Bully

    Film News Roundup: Danny Trejo's Dark Comedy 'Bully' Scores Distribution

    BEIJING — China’s top industry regulator, the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television, said that an ongoing debate about a film classification system must end now and that China had no plans to introduce such a system as it was “inappropriate.” “We did a lot of investigation and research in both the overseas and […]

  • Jamie Lee Curtis Hugs Fan Who

    Jamie Lee Curtis Embraces Sobbing Fan, Who Says 'Halloween' Saved His Life

    BEIJING — China’s top industry regulator, the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television, said that an ongoing debate about a film classification system must end now and that China had no plans to introduce such a system as it was “inappropriate.” “We did a lot of investigation and research in both the overseas and […]

  • Teen Titans Go to the Movies

    Film Review: 'Teen Titans GO! to the Movies'

    BEIJING — China’s top industry regulator, the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television, said that an ongoing debate about a film classification system must end now and that China had no plans to introduce such a system as it was “inappropriate.” “We did a lot of investigation and research in both the overseas and […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content