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Beijing wants the soft power that internationally popular films can generate, but studios are struggling to deliver. (Original images from "GG Bond: Lollipop in Fantasy" and Reuters)
Industry in focus

Blockbuster or bust: China's film industry is in a bind

Tighter censorship and dwindling cash hinder quest for global hits

MARRIAN ZHOU, Nikkei staff writer | China

LOS ANGELES -- There is a scene early in the children's animated film "GG Bond: Lollipop in Fantasy" where the villain, a panda, wipes off her makeup and says, "This is smoky eye! I'm a polar bear!"

The scene is played for laughs, but it was added for a serious reason. According to people familiar with the production, the studio was worried that authorities in Beijing would take issue with a panda -- a symbol of China -- being portrayed as a villain.

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