Resisting age-ratings in China: The ongoing prehistory of film classification

Liam Grealy, Catherine Driscoll, Bin Wang, Yongchun Fu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article investigates the ongoing absence in China of a system of age-ratings for films. We provide a history of contemporary Chinese debate about establishing age-ratings, comprehensively examining former censor regimes’ content restrictions and conceptions of youth. Drawing on archival research and interviews, this history describes the authorities responsible for film regulation, stakeholders advocating for reform, and the techniques involved in restricting content. We show that the Chinese state continues to resist an age-rating system for films, while arguing that this exceptional position masks historical and current similarities between China and elsewhere in governing acceptable content for youth.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-71
Number of pages19
JournalAsian Cinema
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2019
Externally publishedYes


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