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China Punishes 326 Movie Theaters for Box Office Fraud

People's Daily, 3/21/17

China's film authorities recently published the results of a report regarding the enforcement of tighter regulations passed in 2016 aimed at curbing fraudulent box office reporting. Under these regulations, 326 theaters have been penalized, among which 126 have been temporarily closed until their business practices are brought up to standard.

The report says that 63 theaters faked box office numbers in excess of RMB 1 mln and will be shut down for no less than 90 days, after which they must reapply for a film screening license from their local film regulatory department. Another 63 theaters' fraudulent box office receipts fell within the RMB 500,000 - 1 mln range, resulting in a shutdown of no less than 60 days. 110 theaters reported fraudulent numbers between RMB 100,000 and 500,000, resulting in a fine of RMB 200,000. Another 90 theaters with fraudulent numbers under RMB 100,000 have been issued a warning.

The offending theaters must return misappropriated funds to film companies and make a written report of their fraudulent box office reporting practices.

A spokesperson for the State Administration of Press and Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SAPPRFT) indicated that fraudulent box office reporting practices are a long-term "chronic disease" of the film industry, severely disrupting market order, and that film regulatory departments at all levels must resolutely crack down on law breakers.

Editor's Note: For more information on this topic, please see "China to Strengthen Penalties for Fraudulent Box Office Reporting," MD 10/31/16 issue.

Keywords: film television box office penalty regulation scandal movie theater SAPPRFT

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