China has one of the world’s most straightforward industrial policies: Identify successful foreign industries, determine what makes them successful, and clone them. This strategy has worked well in telecommunications, where China’s Huawei(Âçé‰∏∫) makes products so similar to Cisco‘s that Cisco has sued for patent and copyright infringement. Similarly, China Unicom just launched the RedBerry, which, as you might guess, is a cheaper version of the BlackBerry. Next on the list: copying Hollywood.
China’s not alone in producing such duds; Hollywood has its share of Jersey Girls, too. But the Chinese movie industry is further hampered by the fact that it’s very difficult for a big film to make money without international distribution. While successful American films make money in the domestic market, and supplement that with ticket sales overseas, the big Chinese films need foreign distribution to break even. Ironically, government policies designed to protect the film industry brought about this state of affairs. [Full Text]