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Chongqing Is Not Hong Kong, We’ll Sue the Transformers Movie to Prove It!

Posted: 07/8/2014 5:56 pm

karst scenic area sueThe Wulong Scenic Area in Chongqing is furious that even though Hong Kong is prominently featured in the new Transformers sequel, there was no product placement for the area in the movie. Representatives of the scenic area are so angry, in fact, they are suing the makers of the popular film franchise, reports Sina News.

Li Chu from Wulong’s Tourism Marketing Center said the film is presented in such a way that Hong Kong and Wulong scenes run together, which may make the audience think they are the same location.

PICTURES: See the Transformers in Person at Canton Tower in Guangzhou

CEO of the Wulong Karst Company Huang Daosheng announced on July 7 that the firm would be suing Paramount Pictures and 1905 Internet Technology for breach of contract.

According to the signed agreement, Huang says Transformers: Age of Extinction was to prominently feature a product placement that showed the Chinese characters that mean “Wulong, China”. This product placement was to have taken place during the [SPOILER ALERT!] taming of Dinobot leader Grimlock by fan-favorite Optimus Prime.

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However, the Wulong Scenic Area signed the contract with 1905, one of the film’s producers, and not with Paramount Pictures, reports China Daily.

A spokesperson for the 1905 technology company named Liang agreed that the film’s producers did in fact break the contract, but countered by saying the scenic area had fallen five months behind in investment payments despite its contractual agreement, worrying producers of the film.

PICTURES: Dongguan Bumblebee is a Beauty

Liang said at first the product placement wasn’t implemented because it was impractical, then that the producers had made a mistake. However, upon hearing Huang’s intention to sue 1905, he revised his remarks to say:

The original plan was to display the words “Wulong, China” at the landmark of Green Dragon Bridge, but the producing team was under heavy pressure, and they (western audiences) don’t understand Chinese. A portion of audiences would have confused “Green Dragon Bridge” with “Wulong, China”.

READ: Here Are Your 2014 Summer Blockbusters, China Edition

Huang refuted Liang’s suggestion that Western audiences don’t comprehend Chinese, and further went on to claim that they had signs with the words “Wulong, China” especially made for the shoot, but couldn’t be on set to verify that the signs were being used.

Fans upset at the missed chance of seeing yet another Chinese product placement in the latest Transformers franchise can take heart. This film, on course to overthrow Avatar as the country’s top-grossing film of all time (predicted here), already has several product placements that are hard to miss among its many spectacles and streetlamps.

transformers product placement

Photos: Caijing, Sina, the Nanfang


UK retailer Topman faces legal hurdles opening in China

Posted: 05/14/2012 7:22 am

Only days after Topshop threw open its doors in Shenzhen (related Nanfang Studio album here), there’s already rumours of the UK’s Topman fashion chain making the same jump.  But for Topman, opening in the PRC might not be so simple.

A lingerie manufacturer in Zhongshan, Guangdong Province, is preventing the trendy male fashion brand  from joining its older sister, Topshop, on the Chinese high street. According to China’s trademark database, the Topman name was registered to the Zhongshan-based business in 2000. The database also shows the Arcadia Group, who owns the successful British retailer, filed at least three different applications, the first of which was in 2006. A source close to the matter divulged that the issue was nearing a legal resolution, and the obstacle facing the Arcadia Group was being resolved.

International companies are being met at the Chinese border by a number of “brand squatters”; people or companies that buy international brand names within China and wait to cash in when those same companies enter the world’s biggest consumer market, as Britain’s Daily Telegraph revealed in an investigation last month. Unlike in the UK, China’s trademarks operate on a “first-to-register” basis: whoever registers the brand first owns the rights to it.

Topman declined to comment on the trademark matter. The revelation comes as Topshop officially celebrated the opening of its first Chinese store earlier this month. When asked his thoughts about the trademark issue, Ray Lee, the man responsible for bringing Topshop and Topman to the mainland, said only that the issue was “difficult”.

The trademark issue does not appear to be affecting sales in Shenzhen; Topshop announced that over 2,000 people visited the store on its first day.

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