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At a time of heightened scrutiny of tax affairs in China’s entertainment sector, even industry veterans in Hong Kong are struggling to figure out how to operate in the new financial environment and pleading for more clarity from the Chinese government.
Hong Kong produces about 60 films a year, three-quarters of which are typically co-productions with the mainland. The Chinese film industry’s overhaul of its tax policies last year in the wake of a fraud scandal involving superstar Fan Bingbing has sown confusion in both the mainland and Hong Kong, which operates as a special administrative region with its own financial regulations.
Discussion - Taxation - Issues - Tuesday - FilMart
During a discussion of mainland taxation issues Tuesday at FilMart, some panelists said that inconsistent enforcement of new policies in China and a general lack of knowledge was severely hampering cross-border business relations.
“The central government [in Beijing] has its policies, but the people implementing them below are all unclear on what to do. It says on the books that Hong Kong people can go invest in movie theaters, or can do this or that, but when you get over there, you’ll ask 100 different work units and not a single one will actually know,” said Ng See Yuen, a veteran Hong Kong exhibitor and producer with significant connections to the mainland industry through his UME cinema chain.
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“Whoever I ask, they all don’t know,” Ng said to laughter and applause from the mostly Hong Kong crowd....
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