Marvel's Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is a huge hit. Simu Liu made history in the movie as the first Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) to lead a superhero film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Liu was born in China. Also, much of the film's dialogue is in Mandarin. So, many are wondering why the superhero flick has not been received in mainland China.
Here are some of the probable reasons, per The New York Times.
1. Shang-Chi may be a victim of low point U.S.-China relations
Disney, which owns Marvel, has yet to receive a clearance to release Shang-Chi in mainland China from the Beijing regulators. The reason isn't clear, but there are speculations that it's the result of the U.S. and China's poor relationship.
The outlet noted that China is pushing back against Western influence. The country also allegedly denounces foreign books and movies and the teaching of English.
2. China criticized Shang-Chi lead star Simu Liu's previous comments against the country
Simu Liu made several statements against China in the past. A nationalist account on Weibo, a popular social media platform in China, shared several screenshots of Liu's previous interview when he talked about his immigrant parents.
According to the Shang-Chi lead star, his parents had to leave the "Third World" China where people "were dying of starvation."
The video of the interview is no longer available. Disney also declined to comment when asked about it.
Aside from that, in 2016, Liu tweeted something that seemingly suggested his stand against the Chinese government.
"I think countries that try to censor and cover-up dissenting ideas rather than face them and deal with them are out of touch with reality," he wrote.
One commented that the tweet "sounds like America." Liu made his point clear saying he was referring to the Chinese government.
"@SirRoundHous3 as many problems the Americans have, I was referring to Chinese gov't censorship. It's really immature and out of touch," Liu explained.
What did Chinese people who watch Shang-Chi say about the film?
Jin Yang, 33, a Chinese film producer based in Beijing, was impressed with Shang-Chi. In fact, he was sad that it hasn't been released in mainland China yet.
"It's a bit regretful that the film has not been released in mainland China," Yang said. "It'd be great if Chinese audiences could see this film that combines Chinese and Western cultures so well."
Yang added, "It's amusing that it's Americans' turn to read subtitles in a Marvel film.
Shang-Chi continues to lead the box office. Last week, the film hits its second-week box office and it's the highest since Rise of Skywalker.