Here’s a comprehensive, perceptive and well researched piece about the Chinese film market (“Crouching U.S. Studios, Hidden Chinese Market”) by L.A. Times staffer Bruce Wallace. It’s especially concise in explaining the downsides. “The skeptics have a long list of reasons why you can’t do movie business in China,” Wallace writes. “The deplorable condition of Chinese movie theatres, a quota that limits foreign films to 20 a year and one of the worst revenue-sharing deals (just 13% of the ticket take) that Hollywood has negotiated anywhere. Then there are strict guidelines on content. No sex. No religion. Nothing to do with the occult. Nothing that jeopardizes public morality or portrays criminal behavior. But perhaps the most crippling obstacle remains China’s rampant piracy. The frenetic trade in pirated DVDs operates openly on Shanghai street corners, where Hollywood’s blockbusters and prime-time TV shows are sold from rickety stalls and suitcases, all for less than a dollar. It leaves China with a market — or at least a legitimate market — about the size of Peru. What studio executive is going to spend time and energy banging his head against the Chinese politicians and bureaucrats for a market the size of Peru? And yet, and yet…that potential. What if this economic superpower-apparent does open up, gets piracy under control, becomes a cultural Goliath? Because if that happens, what the Chinese choose to watch and how they choose to do so may dictate global trends and tastes for the next century.”