Los Angeles Times

In China's 'money worshiping' movie industry, stars' high pay becomes a target of the central government

SHANGHAI - China's surging movie box office receipts, on pace to surpass North America's in 2020, are celebrated here as part of China's growing influence in the global film market.

But the rise has what officials see as a pernicious side, a kind of "Hollywoodification" of the Chinese entertainment business: Studios are chasing after A-list stars with eye-popping salaries to lure idol-struck audiences.

Now the government has moved to rein in pay it says can't be morally justified. Authorities announced last week that actors' compensation would be capped at 40 percent of production costs. In a related action, local officials said they would investigate China's biggest celebrity, Fan Bingbing, who is suspected of evading taxes by benefiting from dual-pay schemes known

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