[ISEA2016] Paper: Patrice Poujol – On-line Film Circulation in China: The Case of Youku Tudou As a Creative Corporate Soft Power Champion

Abstract (long paper)

Since China’s entry in the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in 2001, the development of Chinese start-ups has been explosive. Their representation worldwide has also been notable with such examples as Alibaba or Youku Tudou (YT). A lot of these start-ups have been tightly connected with the expansion into the media sector. During this recent political-economic transition, the media has been used as a soft power vehicle (ruanshili), both internationally and domestically. This makes it a key strategic sector for the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to control and shape. Through the case of YT, this paper addresses the following questions: Before and post WTO entry, how has China been managing its political-economic series of transformations to create the current media context? In that context, how is the Chinese government shaping the evolution of its media system towards the creation of national brands and on-line creative champions such as YT? To which extent, is this influencing China’s soft power agenda abroad? What does it tell us about the changing relationship of the Chinese government and its creative industries in regards to Intellectual Property (IP)? Is it a step forward to identify and nurture emerging local film talent?

Patrice Poujol, School of Creative Media, City University of Hong Kong, HK

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