The Rise of China’s Romance Film Industry

April 23, 2013

Romance is filling screens in China, and Tom Carter showed us how the Western Romeo and Juliet concept of romance got its start in China in 1995 when Harlequin (US  Romance publisher) received permission “to bring romance to millions of Chinese women”.

That beginning grew to more than a thousand romance novels written by mainland Chinese authors last year.

The growing interest in fictional romance has also spilled seriously into mainland Chinese film.

Cfensi (a source for Chinese entertainment news) says that recently, modern day romance movies in China have taken off. “Cinema goers in China want the choice of light-hearted entertainment from the cinema, and the Chinese film industry is rapidly accommodating that niche in the market.”

Interview with Tony Leung, who often plays the leading man in movies with beautiful actresses.

In fact, one star benefiting from this demand for romance may be “Tony Leung (who) has been called the Clark Gable of Asia, and it’s not hard to see why: he’s handsome, with the enviable frame of a man who can put on anything knowing it will both flatter him and fit him.” Source: The

Then Tiger Cinema offers a list of Chinese Romance movies with links to “try now”. The titles for a few of these movies are revealing: If You Are the OneSome Like It HotAll About womenL For Love – L For LiesCall For Love, and My DNA Says I Love You.

The summary for If You Are the One says, “A story about love in comical situations depicts how difficult it often is to find the right person, but also how often we don’t realize it when love hits us at the most unexpected times.”

Cfensi says, “With China’s total box office up 44% in 2009, and 1.65 cinema screens added per day, with no signs of slowly down, this should only be one sign to look forward to of the growing diversification of China’s rapidly rising film industry.”


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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Jocelyn Eikenburg’s “Speaking of China”

June 28, 2011

Eikenburg says, ” ‘I love you’ is a meaningless phrase if you can’t ‘show me the love’.”

Since I write about China, I often discover other Blogs and Websites about China and in May, I discovered Jocelyn Eikenburg’s Blog, Speaking of China, and felt it was worth recommending and to show-case a taste of what she has to offer from her rare perspective of China and the Chinese.

If you are tired of reading criticisms of China and the Chinese in the Sinophobe dominated Western Media/Blogs, I suggest visiting Eikenburg’s Blog for a breath of honest air.

When I stumbled on Eikenburg’s Blog, I was researching how peer pressure among teens causes depression for one of my other Blogs, Crazy Normal, and discovered an interview with Jocelyn Eikenburg on My New Chinese Love, which you may also find interesting.

In fact, the interview ended with a WARNING: Her writing is a delicious blend of a highly personal China travelogue and a juicy romance novel that will leave you wanting more. Way too easy to get hooked – so if you’re easily addicted then *stay away*!

However, who is Jocelyn Eikenburg? Well, for starters, she lived in China more than six years and speaks Mandarin.

Writer and Chinese translator, Eikenburg is one of the most prominent voices on the web for Chinese men and Western women in love. Married to John, a Chinese national from Hangzhou, Jocelyn writes offbeat stories about Chinese culture, and advice about cross-cultural love, dating, marriage and family.

She’s lived and worked in Zhengzhou, Hangzhou and Shanghai. A Cleveland, Ohio native that resides in Idaho, Jocelyn is currently working on her memoir about love and marriage in China.

For a preview of her writing, I offer a glimpse from three of Eikenburg’s posts. Ask the Yangxifu: Chinese Parents, Pressure and a Preemie Baby

“Welcome to the world of Chinese families, where the parents rule.” (Note: maybe the average American parent could learn something valuable  from this “Speaking of China” post.)

“Chinese have lived for thousands of years with the Confucian value of filial piety — showing respect for family elders and ancestors. The flip side to this is Chinese parents expect to have a lot of control over the lives of their children (and even, in many cases, grandchildren). One Chinese once described it to me like this: ‘Chinese parents think of their children as furniture’ — something they own, something they should be able to ‘move around’ as they please.”

Then there is the post where she writes On the Rarity of Foreign Women and Chinese Boyfriends/Chinese Husbands, and says, “When I’m in China, I tend to turn a lot of heads, especially in the countryside — and that’s not just because I’m a foreigner. It’s because I’m often seen holding hands with my Chinese husband.”

Then in Chinese Men are Sexy, she says, “In October, 1999, it was as if I’d finally met my long lost locker pinup guy in the flesh. A sullen, James Dean type in a black leather jacket with a perfect ass. The kind of guy that made clichés like “tall, dark and handsome” drip from your mouth.… He drove me so crazy, I spent weeks taking cold showers and long bicycle rides just to cool down.”

Discover the 2008 China Trip


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

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Valentine’s Day in China

February 13, 2011

One Chinese market sells 12 million flowers for Valentine’s Day.

In fact, Dounan Flower Market located in Yunnan’s provincial capital sells 12 million or more flowers every day and is the largest marketplace for cut flowers in China.

Due to increased sales for Valentine’s Day, Dounan Flower Market extended its trading hours 10 days ahead of the February 14 lover’s holiday. Source: Prokerala News

The real Chinese Valentine’s Day, not the one from America on February 14, is celebrated on the 7th day of the 7th lunar month in the Chinese calendar.

Sufei, the host of Sexy Beijing, hits the streets to discover Valentine’s Day in China and has fun doing it.

There is a love story about the seventh daughter of Emperor of Heaven and an orphaned cowherd.

When the couple fell in love, the emperor separated them.

The daughter was forced to move to the star called Vega and the cowherd to the star named Altair.

They are allowed to meet once a year on the 7th day of 7th lunar month. Talk about heartache.

China’s ancient Valentine Day is also called The Daughter’s Festival.

However, the foreign Valentine’s Day is gaining popularity among younger Chinese.

The China Daily reported the “Desire for Valentine’s roses is pushing up prices.”

Liu Xu, who owns a florist shop in the capital, was quoted saying, “I think I can charge at least 15 yuan per rose on February 14. The better ones can cost up to 20 yuan each.”

Discover all about Banning Virtual Love for the Troops in China.


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

If you want to subscribe to iLook China, there is a “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar.

Young and in Love in China

January 20, 2011

Kellie Schmitt of CNN Go Asia wrote, “Love & Other Catastrophes: Conquering China’s young-love taboo“.

The China that Western Sinophobes, gossips and stereotypes paint is not today’s China. Anyone that reads this Blog regularly knows that China is not the “Party” but is the people. That’s why it is called the People’s Republic of China.

In fact, Schmitt is a Shanghai-based writer whose work has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, The Economist’s Business China, Marie Claire, World Hum and Backpacker. I haven’t read all that she has written but this piece was worth mentioning.

If you want to learn about China, you would have to travel to China often or live there as an expatriate as Schmitt has. Marrying into a Chinese family also helps.

While living in China, Schmitt moonlighted as a restaurant reviewer for City Weekend Shanghai. She’s gone falcon hunting in Yunnan, drank fermented mare’s milk in a Mongolian yurt, and attended a mail-order bride’s wedding and donned qipaos with Shanghai’s senior citizens.

Another example of being young in urban China. The world this generation knows is not the world their parents grew up in.

Instead of playing it safe and staying primarily in modern China around other foreigners and expatriates as many do, Schmitt has “tasted” what being Chinese means.

Schmitt has written often of China. Visit her profile page to see topics she’s written of from Shanghai’s lesbian sub-culture to debates held at the 15th century Sera Monastery by Lhasa monks.

As for young love, Kellie Schmitt writes, “In Shanghai, teachers and parents widely prohibit dating in high school, urging students to study instead.”

But for Enid and Michael (the couple Schmitt writes of), their love was “worth a little sneaking around”. That was when they were sixteen.

When they turned 22, they were still together and got married. When Schmitt wrote the post for CNN Go Asia, Enid and Michael were 26. As in all marriages, Enid and Michael have had their difficulties but it appears love has kept them dedicated to each other and together. I recommend Schmitt’s post to learn more of how China is changing.

Discover more of China’s Sexual Revolution


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

If you want to subscribe to iLook China, there is a “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar.