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The giant film studio complex at Qingdao in Eastern China has halted all film and TV production in response to the novel coronavirus that has infected thousands in the country and claimed more than 360 lives.

Qingdao Oriental Movie Metropolis announced on Monday via its official WeChat social media channel that all productions at the state-of-the-art studio complex will be suspended. It had received instructions on Jan. 28 from the regional the film and television administration of Lingshan Bay, Qingdao.

A similar announcement was made last week at the Hengdian World Studios, one of the world’s largest studios.

“To ease the pressure on production units and crews, the studio will waive rental fees for soundstages, sets and parking,” the Qingdao studio said. The rent-free period will continue until the government allows production to resume.

Originally developed by the Dalian Wanda group, the Qingdao studios opened in 2018 with 40 soundstages catering to blockbuster productions. Chinese sci-fi “Wandering Earth” and costume action epic “The Great Wall” were both partly filmed there. The studio complex was sold to Sunac Culture Group in 2017, when Wanda was forced to reduce its borrowings.

As more countries step up their travel restrictions, several Chinese celebrities filmed a music video to show support for those suffering from coronavirus, and those in the quarantine zone. At least 16 cities in Hubei province, including Wuhan, the epicenter of the virus, have been locked down to stop the virus from spreading further.

  • Separately, actors in Chengdu filmed a music video to show support for those suffering from the virus. Initiated by China’s streaming giant Youku, Sichuan Radio and Television, and Hi-Show Entertainment, cast and crew of TV series “Game Changer,” including heartthrob Huang Xiaoming, completed the music video “We Will Certainly Win” in less than 24 hours. The crew has halted filming of the series and is staying at a nearby resort. A 5.1-magnitude earthquake was recorded 30km from Chengdu around midnight on Feb 3. There were no casualties.