Peikang La
Bai Xueqi/Xinhua News Agency/Newscom

China Film Group



While many Chinese men dye their hair to retain the vigorous black sheen of youth, La Peikang wears his greying locks and rimless glasses like badges of studious seriousness. Quiet and unassuming, he could easily be lost in a crowd.

But it would be a mistake to underestimate the man who some have billed as the most powerful individual in the Chinese film business. Since 2014, La has headed China Film Corp., the state-owned enterprise that is China’s sole licensed film importer and the dominant channel for imported movies to reach Chinese screens; Hollywood studios are not allowed their own distribution operations in China. The powerful company also owns cinemas and develops technology.

La is about as different as can be compared with predecessor Han Sanping, a swaggering titan who also loved to sit in the director’s chair. La, who spent nine years in France, does not project that kind of aura, but is quite adept at using the growing clout of the Chinese market to cut deals in Hollywood. His suggestion that CFC wanted to take minority stakes in a handful of U.S. blockbusters had studios scrambling to offer him projects. A safe pair of hands, La this year oversaw a blockbuster of another kind – CFC’s hugely successful IPO, after it was stalled for more than a decade.


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