From Kundun to Mulan:  A Political Economic Case Study of Disney and China

Abstract

This case study examines the Walt Disney Company’s foray in the Chinese market from a political economic perspective. It focuses on two film-related events: 1) the Kundun incident in 1996 that displays the ideological confrontation between Disney and China in the post-Cold War era, and 2) the production of Mulan in 1998 as both a political compromise and a strategic marketing decision for Disney to regain the Chinese market. The conflicts and negotiations between Disney and China provide a telling example to study the local operation of global capitalism, especially in terms of its interaction with the state. While many believe that the advent of globalization will open more free markets for fair competition, this study reveals how government policy intervenes in the global entertainment industry, and sheds light on the political and economic struggles behind the silver screen.

Keywords

Kundun, Mulan, Disney, China, Globalization, State Capitalism, Political Economy

How to Cite

Yu, H., 2015. From Kundun to Mulan: A Political Economic Case Study of Disney and China. ASIANetwork Exchange: A Journal for Asian Studies in the Liberal Arts, 22(1), pp.12–22. DOI: http://doi.org/10.16995/ane.100

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Authors

Hongmei Yu (Luther College)

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0

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This article has been peer reviewed.

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