Comparing Chinese and Indian Media Industries (Video Interview with Hugh Stephens) (Part 1/2)

Memo #136 (Scroll below to see 4 Video Clips)

Featuring Hugh Stephens – principal [at]

Hugh Stephens, Executive-in-Residence at the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada, has over 35 years of government and business experience in the Asia region. In this interview, he compares the Chinese and Indian media industries.

While India adopts market mechanisms to develop content, in China politics is the ultimate determinant of whether to publish content. India is a wide open market and the main challenge to investing in India is producing a product that audiences want to see. 90 to 95 per cent of the market is dominated by local content.

On the other hand, film distribution in China is controlled by China Film, the monopoly importer of foreign films. Only 20 foreign films are allowed into China per year. Although Hollywood has an approximate 50 per cent share of the market, China Film manages the market to ensure that it will not grow beyond that. Films that have been too successful have had their distribution curtailed.

In the future, China will try to project itself more to the outside world, establishing a news network similar to Al Jazeera and the BBC. Success may be difficult to achieve as consumers are attracted to credibility and “objective” coverage of events.

Hugh Stephens – Executive-in-Residence at the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada. Mr. Stephens is Principal of Trans-Pacific Connections ( – TPC Consulting, based in Victoria, BC. He has more than 35 years of government and business experience in the Asia region. He spent 30 years in senior positions at the Department of Foreign affairs and International Trade prior to moving to the private sector, in 2001, as manager of Time Warner’s public policy office for Asia Pacific located in Hong Kong.

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Part 1 – Media content in India and China (2:12 min)

Part 2 – Indian and Chinese markets for entertainment content (2:17 min)

Part 3 – Two aspects to Chinese media (2:08 min)

Part 4 – China’s control of the Internet (2:09 min)

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Asia Pacific Memo is published by the Institute of Asian Research (IAR) at The University of British Columbia. Distributed weekly, we feature 350 word essays or video interviews on contemporary Asia.