Zhao Guoqing, the rebellious scion of China's first privately funded film distribution company, shaved his head on Oct. 18. It's a ritual that he engages in every time he takes on a new crusade, letting his hair grow back only when he has completed his task. So when the shaven Zhao showed up to work that morning at the sprawling Chengdu cinema that houses his offices and the small apartment he shares with his wife and son, his colleagues knew he was plotting something big. He had the unmistakable bearing of a man with a mission, says Shen Shufeng, deputy manager of Zhao's Hua Xie theater. We didn't know exactly what he was cooking up, but we were all a little scared. When he let them in on his plans, they were astonished. What Zhao was proposing was probably unprecedented and certainly provocative. Starting in early November, Zhao's Emei Film Distribution Co. would cut movie ticket prices at its 11 theaters from 15 yuan ($1.80) to 5 yuan (60 cents).