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More than 300 cinemas punished for box office fraud

A total of 326 cinemas nationwide were punished for box office fraud, following investigations into violations of the law on the film industry that went into effect on March 1.

According to a Tuesday report by regulators, 63 cinemas were involved in box fraud of around 1 million yuan (about $145,000) and the cinemas in question will be closed for at least 90 days from March 27. Screening permits were revoked for reassessment.

Another 63 cinemas, including one in Hangzhou, capital of East China's Zhejiang province were closed for at least 60 days, due to fraud of between 500,000 yuan to 1 million yuan. Another 110 cinemas face fines of 200,000 yuan.

The remainder involved in fraud of less than 100,000 yuan received warnings. Cinema managers were also punished.

An official with the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television said box office fraud hampers the development of the industry, and called for continuous action against violations.

China adopted the film industry law in November 2016, after years of research and three rounds of deliberation, to address problems such as red tape in film making and poor copyright protection.