China Television Co-productions: The Basics


Co-productions on the Chinese mainland are regulated by China’s State Adminstration of Radio, Film & Television (SARFT) through a combination of applications, approvals and oversight at the provincial and national levels.

Television co-productions can proceed under any of the three following models:

  • JOINT PRODUCTION: in which the Chinese party and the foreign party jointly invest capital, provide personnel & resources, and share profits & risks.
  • COLLABORATIVE PRODUCTION: in which the foreign party invests capital and provides key personnel, while the Chinese party provides labor services, resources and locations.
  • ENTRUSTED PRODUCTION: in which the foreign party invests capital, while the Chinese party is responsible for production in its entirety.

The application & approvals process varies depending on the co-production models, with requirements that are variably stringent and vague.

Studios solely looking for distribution in China will be attempting to enter the market as a foreign property, regardless of their content’s cultural cues, and subject to a different set of regulations and restrictions.

More to come…


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