These deals have sparked concern over whether China’s expanding influence in Hollywood could lead to more pro-Chinese propaganda in U.S. films. The Chinese government tightly controls media content, and Hollywood studios have been known to alter films to feature China or the Chinese government in a more flattering light to gain access to the country’s lucrative film market.
For Hollywood, China provides the blockbuster combination of a huge movie market and cash-rich equity funds that are eager to invest in films and companies. The Chinese box office is on pace to soon surpass the U.S. as the world’s biggest market, perhaps next year.
On Sept. 15, 16 members of Congress mentioned the Chinese company by name in a letter that called for greater scrutiny of foreign investments. The 14 Republicans and two Democrats said that Dalian Wanda’s acquisitions have raised concerns “about China’s efforts to censor topics and exert propaganda controls on American media.”