The most recent news that President Xi of China and President Trump of the US are putting the trade talks back on the table after a meeting in Osaka Japan at the G20 was welcome news. However, Hollywood is now raising concerns about the A-listers from Matt Damon to Christian Bale who now feel the pinch of major Chinese firms suddenly not showing interest.
China has invested in Hollywood stars and most recently allowing them roles in the second world war, an oil company executive, and even a mythological god. Some firms in China are starting to move away from the top US actors as they are sensitive about the US-China trade war and the issues that surrounded the move vitriolic comments appearing in the press.
Our View: The US and China are clearly sinking into a deep period of tension and it may last for another year or two. China will still be major investors in Hollywood, having influence on the scripts of movies and even major universities in the area, and of course the sympathetic voices in Hollywood. There are still US movies being distributed in China with some of them breaking box office records.
The movie industry seems to be resilient to external factors but for China it might be different. China lifted a ban on South Korean entertainers in 2017, so watching the US stars and their access to Chinese films does make sense. The issue is that it is hard to replace the star power for Damon and Bale — more on this topic soon.