Hong Kong Passes Film Censorship Law

Hong Kong legislators on Wednesday have passed a bill authorizing the city’s No. 2 official to ban film productions that undermine national security and increase the maximum jail term for anyone who screens movies classified as a threat.

The city’s legislature amended the Film Censorship Bill, which requires sensors to assess the impact of production on national security during the approval process.

The penalties for those who screen non-approved content could go as high as HK$1,000,000 ($130,000) and three years in imprisonment.

The changes to the Film Censorship Ordinance would also enable the chief secretary to ban the showing of previously approved productions on national security grounds.

Commerce and Economic Development Secretary Edward Yau Tang-wah said the new rules would not undermine the film industry and that most movies would not be affected.

“Our objective is simple and direct – it is to improve our film censorship system and effectively prevent and suppress any act that would endanger national security,” Tang-wah added.

The national security law, which Beijing imposed on Hong Kong last year, banned acts of secession, subversion, terrorism, and collusion with foreign forces.

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