The money just ran out to shoot in China, so actress Solveig Dommartin and one camera person surreptitiously shot the Chinese scenes in the film (seen on VideoFax in Paris by Eugene) completely on their own.
When filming ended, Wenders confessed, his producers had to literally pull the plug on him for his own good because he wanted to take the film to a conclusion in the African Congo. There, the Pygmies' "dream music" would have brought his characters and themes full circle. As it is, he hit every continent in the film except Africa and South America.
Wenders sent out a call to his favorite musicians for original compositions for the film and received so much good music he decided not to choose a winner but to use it all. Wenders later admitted without a hint of regret that it was a decision that locked him into epic length.