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China Plans to Build 100 Digital Cinemas
China intends building 100 digital cinemas in the next few years in an ambitious plan to top the world in its number of digital films, a government official said in Changchun Sunday.

Zhang Pimin, a vice-bureau chief of the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television, said China had 13 digital cinemas already and the figure would reach 30 next year.

Addressing a seminar on the World Trade Organization (WTO) and China's film industry, in Jilin Province, northeast China, the official said China was investing heavily in improving the country's government-owned cinemas.

It also planned to introduce a rating system to indicate the level of cinemas, he said.

China's WTO entry has put great pressure on China's film sector and brought opportunities.

China's box office was worth a total of 800 million yuan (nearly US$100 million) last year, with foreign films taking the lion's share of the market, he said.

China lifted its restrictions on film production funding last February, for the first time allowing private investment in film-making.

About 30 private companies were involved in film production so far, Zhang said.

(People's Daily August 26, 2002)

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