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January 23, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Chinese authorities have mandated that all movie theaters in the country alter their ticketing systems before October to a national standard that has been designed to prevent box-office fraud, reported today (Thursday). The orders come following several complaints filed by film distributors alleging that some theaters are selling phony tickets and manipulating receipts to avoid paying taxes on them. Wang Changtian, president of Enlight Media, claimed that, while official statistics indicate that the Chinese box office brought in $3.6 billion in 2013, the actual figure ought to have been $4.3 billion had it not been for ticketing fraud. One distributor described one way in which ticket sales were being concealed. A theater may charge, say 80 yuan for a ticket and a bucket of popcorn, he said, but then it reports that “the film ticket only costs 20 yuan, and the other 60 yuan are for popcorn. How can you reason with them? We distributors have to have a good relationship with theaters in the long-term and we are not law enforcers, so we cannot do that much to fight them.”