Cultural diversity

Publications and Studies

“China opens up to Hollywood, to the detriment of cultural diversity”

The article “China opens up to Hollywood, to the detriment of cultural diversity” has just been published in InaGlobal, The review of creative industries and media.

Author Antonios Vlassis, who holds a Ph.D in international relations at Institut d'Études Politiques de Bordeaux and is member of Centre d'études sur l'intégration et la mondialisation (CEIM), summarizes the article as follows:

“The ambiguous nature of cultural industries—particularly the audiovisual industry—which are torn between symbolic and material production, can sometimes spark vigorous debate. In the last twenty years, the issue of the interface between trade and culture has erupted onto the international stage to become one of the main points of contention in multilateral and bilateral trade agreements. In the negotiations surrounding GATT (General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade) and the 1993 defense of cultural exception in the Convention on the Diversity of Cultural Expressions (hereinafter “the CDCE”) adopted by UNESCO on October 20, 2005, the fundamental challenge raised was the circulation of cultural goods and services and their treatment in trade agreements.

In light of this, the CDCE, which came into effect in 2007 and so far has been ratified by 122 States including France, Canada, Brazil, China, India, and the European Union, specifically states the specificity of cultural goods and services and the legitimacy of public intervention in the cultural industries sector.

At the same time, in 2009, the World Trade Organization (WTO) condemned China for trade practices deemed illicit in the field of culture (e.g., cinema, books, music). Consequently, in mid-February 2012 US Vice President Joe Biden announced that China intended to make significant changes to the strict quota for access to its film market by Hollywood movies.

On one hand, opening China’s film market remains the most significant economic and trade issue for major Hollywood organizations and the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), considering the enormous potential of this market, which grew 35% in 2011 to become the third largest in the world. On the other hand, this represents a paradoxical defeat of the CDCE and the standards it set, insofar as the quasi-impregnable Chinese system is becoming increasingly more open to non-national cultural products thanks to the principles of free trade promoted by the WTO.”

To read the article in question (available in French only), please visit the InaGlobal website.

InaGlobal, The review of creative industries and media, is an international web review that seeks to liberate knowledge, open up to globalization and emerging countries, and produce quality information for a vast public of professionals, researchers and students, as well as citizens interested in developments in communication and the creative industries in the Internet era. From cinema to manga, television, video games, publishing and music, InaGlobal is devoted to the analysis of these sectors, with an emphasis on the digital revolution and Internet. Long-term analysis, research and in-depth reflection subject to review are given the priority.