Submitted by: Morgan O’Hara
To piggyback off two recent posts â€“ the first about Zakaria’s manliness, the second about Bollywood’s appeal â€“ I’d like to share an article on how American media corporations are getting fed up of chasing the carrot in China, and are shifting their energy towards India.
When it comes to the media industry, India is more open than China, and its demographic and economic trends excite media execs just the same. A few weeks ago, Ravi Asnani spoke to us about the potential of India’s youth, and how their drive and talent is transforming the way business is done. Ravi also talked about how there are plenty opportunities to sell to Indians, many of whom are happy to spend top dollar for an iPhone. Controlling the broadcasting channels that reach India’s up-and-coming middle class youth is BIG business.
But what about China? We all know how successful the Chinese government has been in facilitating the development of labor-intensive industries, often via foreign investment. Yet loosening controls over the programming that reaches its citizens is still taboo. It seems like the perfect example of China’s government wanting to have it both ways.
After reading the article, I wonder whether China’s hesitancy to work with Western media firms is a reflection of the ruling class’ paranoia, or are these media firms being short-sighted? Should they work harder and smarter to get their foot in the door? Or is China being unreasonable and is it time for media companies to look elsewhere?
What surprises me is how the Chinese censors haven’t caught onto the subversive nature of â€œSpongebob SquarePants.â€ That show is a psychedelic drug transmitted through television waves. Also ironic is how China’s nationalistic spirit may wedge open the broadcasting gates. The article posits that China’s envy of Slumdog Millionaire’s success will spawn action in China’s movie industry, which will in turn benefit American studios. Nothing like some Chindia rivalry to spur business. Your thoughts?