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Commentary Wrap: Crap Films, Dodgy Doctors and Zero Feedback

Photo: Still from Tiny Times
Source: Hollywood Reporter

July 12, 2013

Translated by Zhu Na and Siu Tan

Editors from the EO's Chinese website publish a daily collection of extracts from commentary pieces on topical issues that appear in the mainland press alongside reactions on Sina Weibo. Every Friday, the EO's English team translates a selection of these opinion pieces.

How Can Crap Films Still Succeed at the Box Office

Background: A new film called Tiny Times (小时代) has split filmgoing audiences in China. Despite being a commercial success, the film, which is directed by popular young author Guo Jingming, has been lambasted by other critics as "a vacuous celebration of lavish lifestyles and commodity-driven capitalism." Based on one of his own novels, the film charts the lives of four young women as they move from adolescence to adulthood in Shanghai.


Tiny Times took advantage of its screening arrangement. Relying on its producer and distributor's strong position in the entertainment industry, the number of screenings of the film was much more than others over the same period.
People's Daily [Chinese]

Aside from the impressive marketing strategy, Tiny Times was successful because it is a movie for the fans. It targeted the fans' pockets and located its audiences quicker than other movies.
Economic Observer [Chinese]

We cannot judge a movie only based on it box office takings. As a commercial film, Tiny Times was absolutely successful. The fact that bad movies can be so successful is unavoidable in the film industry. However, if the whole market is full of these commercial movies, then China's film industry will never have a chance to develop. Perhaps combining commercial movies and art films can help the industry to really develop.
China Observer [Chinese]

The box office takings of Tiny Times are very large but art films aren't able to enter the market, this is unfair. The reason that some people are so worked up about Tiny Times is nothing to do with the fim itself, but it's opposition to the unfair way that the market is currently set up. Tiny Times has taken up a lot of the industries resources, other films don't even have a chance of entering the market
21st Century Business Herald [Chinese]

GlaxoSmithKline China Investigated for Bribing Doctors

Background: Executives of the Chinese subsidary of British drug maker GlaxoSmithKline have confessed to charges of bribery after questioning by Chinese police, according to the country's security ministry.


The fact that Chinese police have started an investigatio into a multinational pharmaceutical giant reveals a determination to crack down on the practice of bribe in foreign companies. In the past, international firms that bribed in China only needed to pay fines in foreign countries. However, since the crimes took place in China, the consequences would eventually transfer to Chinese consumer.
Beijing News [Chinese]

We hope those who were paying the bribes will be punished according to our law. Meanwhile, we also urge the government to track down the people who accepted the bribes and hold them accountable for their crimes.
South East Commercial Times (Ningbo) [Chinese]

Bribing has become an unwritten rule in China's medical industry. In order to solve the problem, we must toughen penalties.
Xiaoxiang Morning Post [Chinese]

Natural Disaster or Man-made Disaster?

Background: Since July 7, many places in China have been inundated with heavy rain, which has caused flooding and mudslides that have killed dozens of people.


Paying attention to flood prevention in urban areas is very important, but flood prevention in rural and remote areas also cannot be ignored. The capacity for these areas to prevent disaster needs to be upgraded.
Beijing News [Chinese]

High-rise buildings represent the political achievements and commercial success of our cities but it's the invisible sewers that are the best measure of the people's welfare and government obligations.
Oriental Morning Post [Chinese]

When the floods arrive, if a bridge has been well built, it won't be washed away. On the contrary, if a bridge has been poorly constructed, it will be washed away in a small storm. We should draw a line that clearly demarcates what is a natural disaster and what a man-made disaster. Those responsible for man-made disasters need to be brought to account.
Yangtze Daily [Chinese]

Zero Feedback from the Public

Background: Since November last year, the government of a major city in Guangdong province has published 15 draft regulations on its official website in an attempt to draw public feedback. Not one person has given any feedback on the proposed laws.


The premise for public participation is whether people feel that they truly can make a difference and that power is in their hands. Therefore, the fact that there was "zero feedback" (零意见), might be the biggest piece of feedback and the most common reaction.
Beijing News [Chinese]

"Zero feedback" is also a kind of feedback. It adopts the "silence speaks louder than words" method to remind the government that they must respect people's habits when soliciting public opinion. When communicating with the public the government can't just throw in a line and wait around for someone to bite.
Guangzhou Daily [Chinese]


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