Chinese Bureaucracy

Foreigners face significant bureaucratic hurdles when trying to partake in China’s concert industry, as Beijing entertainment lawyer Mathew Alderson recently outlined in an inteview for the Wall Street Journal.

Alderson points out that direct investment is restricted, forcing foreigners to use a Chinese partner.

Also, local record companies and music publishers are necessary to support a live performance industry, especially for foreign acts, but record piracy is rampant in China, indicating a “contempt for intellectual property.”

Live events must be licensed, but licensing requires “advance submission of details that are often unknown until the last moment, such as details of support acts and technical crew.”

Foreign companies cannot promote live shows only using licenses held by Chinese partners.

As Dan Harris of the China Law Blog pointed out, these obstacles are not really that different from those any foreign entity has to overcome when doing business in China, regardless of the field of endeavor, but they are worth noting nonetheless.