Beijing China said today it might appeal a World Trade Organization ruling that it improperly restricts distribution of foreign movies, music and books and insisted it does not impede imports.
A WTO panel ruled Wednesday in a case brought by the United States that China violates free-trade rules by forcing importers of foreign media products to route them through Chinese state-owned companies.
“The Chinese side feels regret at the ruling by the experts group,” Commerce Ministry spokesman Yao Jian said in a written statement. “The Chinese side will conscientiously assess the expert group’s ruling and does not rule out the possibility of an appeal.”
Yao’s statement said “the channels for China’s import market for published materials, movies and music are completely unimpeded.”
The case is sensitive for Beijing because the communist government insists on controlling the content of movies, music, books and other media. It comes at a time when the government is trying to build up China’s state-owned film studios and other media to promote the ruling party’s views at home and abroad.