China is still a notorious market for movie and TV show piracy, report says

The Motion Picture Association of America's annual report cites Chinese websites and Beijing's counterfeit movie culture as clear dangers

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 29 October, 2013, 7:21pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 29 October, 2013, 7:24pm

China has made an appearance on an industry list of international markets targeted by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) for distributing pirated movies and television shows.

The list, submitted to an intellectual property US trade representative, highlights a selection of notorious websites, internet newsgroups, peer-to-peer online networks and physical locations renowned for sharing illegal content.

Various countries, including Russia, Brazil, Canada, Thailand and Indonesia are all accounted for, but China is specifically highlighted five times.

Amongst the culprits identified by the report are Xunlei.com (now known as Kankan.com) and Kuaibo.com, both sites that offer downloadable applications which allow for the distribution of copyrighted movies.

Of the two sites, Kuaibo.com is identified as by the report as “a primary threat to the stability of legitimate [Chinese] digital distribution,” citing allegations from “rights holders and licensees in China.”

The report also identifies Yyets.com, a streaming portal hosted by China Unicom that “provides unauthorised Chinese subtitles for foreign movies and TV shows, many of which are created by volunteers in the Yyets community.”

Aside from digital websites and peer-to-peer programs, the report also calls the Sanlitun and Haidan districts of Beijing key locations in the distribution of counterfeit movies, and the Hailong Electronics Shopping Mall in Haidan is specifically described as a place where “hard drives can subsequently be wiped and reloaded with new movies at a very low cost.”

"The US motion picture and television industry faces relentless challenges to the integrity of its product, challenges extracting an increasingly unbearable cost,” wrote Michael O’Leary, author of the report and senior executive vice president of the MPAA. "These markets are an immediate threat to legitimate commerce, impairing legitimate markets' viability and curbing US competitiveness."

China has long been known for its plethora of pirated media, and Chinese websites and Beijing’s bootlegging markets have appeared on MPAA reports in the past. China’s continual status on the report as a notorious piracy hub is ironic, however, considering that the country’s theatrical market is now second to the United States – a fact that has caused many US film studios to begin brainstorming ways to cater their creations to a Chinese audience, leading to China-specific content in blockbuster movies like Marvel’s Iron Man 3 and Tristar’s Looper.