BEIJING (The Hollywood Reporter) — California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has been in talks with China’s government about lending his celebrity status to making an anti-piracy message for Chinese TV, California officials said.
“China’s demand for California’s products, innovation and expertise is a key driver of job growth in California,” Schwarzenegger said. China is California’s fastest-growing trade partner, he said, importing $7 billion worth of California goods in 2004, up 25% from 2003.
Despite China’s entry into the World Trade Organization in 2001, U.S. companies continue to face hurdles in China, and U.S. government statistics show that many entertainment and software companies lose millions of dollars to pirated goods in China each year.
“There are many, many challenges facing us: expanding market access, operating in an unclear legal and regulatory environment and protecting intellectual property so we can feel secure inventing and investing in new technologies and goods and services for tomorrow,” Schwarzenegger said.
The California governor’s proposed anti-piracy spot for mainland Chinese TV would differ from a 30-second public service announcement Schwarzenegger made for Hong Kong TV with martial arts star Jackie Chan, said Tracy Arnold, deputy director of the California Commission for Jobs and Economic Growth.
“The governor’s office is talking with China’s Ministry of Commerce and its State Intellectual Property Office about making a message tailored to the mainland television audience, and is discussing the appropriate actor to co-star,” she said.
The Schwarzenegger and Chan TV ad features both exercising their action film star moves against piracy, Sheryl Main, the governor’s deputy communications director, said. The ad, made in cooperation with the Hong Kong Intellectual Property Department, will begin a two-month run on Hong Kong TV after its unveiling, she said.
The Hong Kong ad was filmed in Los Angeles six weeks ago, with the Motion Picture Assn. contributing to its budget, said Mark Mosher, executive director of the California Commission for Jobs and Economic Growth.
Earlier this year, new Disney CEO Robert Iger was reported to have met with Chinese government officials in Beijing about gaining market access for the Disney Channel in exchange for building a second Disneyland theme park. The first Disneyland in China was opened in Hong Kong in September.