Power Unrecognized: The Dilemma of Economic Integration between China’s and Hong Kong’s Film Industries

Victor SHIN (Presenter)

Research output: Other Conference ContributionsConference Paper (other)Researchpeer-review


This study develops a sociological account of the Hong Kong film industry’s stagnation after 1997. The industry’s development exemplifies a dilemma encountered by peripheral economic players who endeavor to tap into the Chinese market while at the same time struggling to retain their power. The paper begins with a historical overview of Hong Kong’s film industry, with particular emphasis on its political economy and cultural significance amidst the tension along the border between China and Taiwan. It examines the major claims in recent studies of the declining power of Hong Kong’s filmmakers in China. This is followed by a more specific discussion of why Hong Kong’s practitioners lost their fame although their expertise is generally recognized in the field.

To address this question, this study draws on China-Hong Kong film co-production data and interviews with movie practitioners in Beijing, Shanghai, Fuzhou, Guangzhou, and Hong Kong between 2008 and 2017. The analysis focuses on the socio-historical conditions that enabled some Hong Kong’s filmmakers to retain their influence while most of them could not. The reason, as I suggest, is not because Hong Kong became less capable of producing higher-quality movies but because most Mainland movie practitioners no longer consider their counterparts in Hong Kong to be an important business partner as in the 1990s. Understanding the changing form of power and social position of Hong Kong’s filmmakers in China illuminates the structural foundations that circumscribed peripheral economic players’ power in global/regional economic integration.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 24 Mar 2018
Externally publishedYes
EventAssociation for Asian Studies 2018 Annual Conference - , United States
Duration: 22 Mar 201825 Mar 2018


ConferenceAssociation for Asian Studies 2018 Annual Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited States
Internet address

Bibliographical note

Panel 232: Hong Kong as a Postcolony: Twenty Years of Chinese Rule


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