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Mixed reaction to WTO ruling

* The ruling, if approved by WTO, would adversely affect the two importers of foreign films. But other companies hailed the ruling.

* It's understandable China takes measures to protect the film industry from being invaded by foreign products, said an associate professor from Beijing Film Academy.

China may appeal a ruling by the World Trade Organization (WTO) that would break up a monopoly of two State-owned firms as the sole foreign audiovisuals importers.

A WTO dispute settlement panel, in a report released yesterday, ruled that China's practices were inconsistent with international trade rules, and that China needs to revise them.

The US filed the case two years ago. The case involves publications, audio and video products, and music download services imported by China.

The ruling, if approved by WTO, would adversely affect the two importers of foreign films. But other companies hailed the ruling.

"It is good news for private companies. We would like to join in. The game was unfair, but I believe complete competition is coming," said Wang Zhonglei, president of Huayi Brothers, China's leading privately owned media company.

The Chinese government has appointed China Film Group and Huaxia Film Distribution to import and distribute audiovisuals from abroad.

This, as the US claimed, has not only run against the fundamental WTO rules requiring equal treatment between local and foreign businesses, but also breached the commitment China made when it joined the WTO to open up sales and distribution.

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 Source : China Daily  Editor: Ivy
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