“Crazy Rich Asians,” the blockbuster movie that debuted in the U.S. and several other countries across the world months ago, is finally coming to China.
The hit movie, which boasts an all-Asian cast, is slated to hit China theaters on Nov. 30. The cast and crew, including lead Henry Golding, Gemma Chan, and director Jon M. Chu, were overjoyed by the news, posting on social media about the release.
There’d been doubts for months that the film, set in Singapore, would ever see a release in China, where the government heavily regulates the film industry. China’s State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film, and Television once determined whether foreign films were fit for the country’s market, but that body was abolished this year. Film management now falls tightly under the eye of the propaganda department of the Communist Party’s Central Committee.
China subjects foreign films to a competitive quota, and may also edit or censor them. In the case of “Crazy Rich Asians,” many speculated the movie would fail to win a Chinese release due to the government’s aversion to films about extravagance and wealth.
Moreover, some experts speculated the movie’s humor and plot wouldn’t resonate with Chinese audiences. The film was significant for the Asian-American community, and is considered a win for Asian representation in Hollywood. China, however, doesn’t lack Asian faces in cinema.
“The cultural significance would not be as important as it is in the U.S.,” Haisong Li, director of digital content at publication China Film Insider, told Fortune. “In China, they are used to seeing television shows full of Chinese faces. Here in the States, it’s more about diversity and representation. That wouldn’t be the biggest selling point” in China.
Chinese viewers lucky enough to have seen the movie already, likely while traveling abroad, seemed to have mixed reactions. But many noted their appreciation of the mahjong scene, praising its symbolism and strategy.