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Print Edition> Lifestyle
UPDATED: May 31, 2010 NO. 22 JUNE 3, 2010
Cultural Industries Bloom
More capital flows to cultural industries


DIGITAL READING: An electronic book on show at the Sixth China (Shenzhen)International Cultural Industries Fair on May 14-17 attracts many visitors, especially children (YUAN SHUILING) 

The market scale of China's cultural industries reached around 800 billion yuan ($118 billion) in 2009, said a report on China's cultural industry development jointly released by a cultural research center under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and the academy's Social Sciences Academic Press on May 6.

The assessment, based on figures from the National Bureau of Statistics of China, comprises 608 billion yuan ($89 billion) of household consumption on cultural and entertainment products and services, 110 billion yuan ($16 billion) of governmental culture-related spending and 70 billion yuan ($10 billion) of cultural products and services exports.

A transition in the development of China's cultural industries occurred in 2009, the report says. Given the general picture of macroeconomic recovery, cultural industries realized rapid growth, becoming a major driving force of the national economy.

New media

Fueled by the development of Third Generation (3G) technology in China, the number of mobile netizens soared from 113 million to 233 million last year, 60.8 percent of China's total netizens. This change heralds the age of mobile networks, the report said.

Meanwhile, the start-up of the Next Generation Broadcasting, though not creating a splash so far, may eventually exert a significant influence on people's cultural lives. The start-up is regarded as a strategic move to accelerate both digitization of cable TV networks and the construction of China Mobile Multimedia Broadcasting (CMMB).

The number of China's cable TV customers increased to 174 million in 2009, an increase of 6.1 percent, or 10 million, compared to the previous year. The number of digital TV users grew to 62 million, up 37 percent from the previous year, the largest growth rate since 2006 when the form began to grow in popularity. Pay digital TV subscribers grew to more than 7 million, around 4 percent of total cable TV users.

With the application of 3G technology and the advance of CMMB, mobile TV in China grew rapidly in 2009, and the related businesses of China Central Television and China Radio International made smooth headway.

The China Network Television, a national Web-based TV station, was established at the end of 2009, aiming to provide users with a globalized, multilingual and multi-terminal public webcast service platform.

Film industry

The film industry is also set to grow, said the report. More than 200 new movies were screened in domestic market in 2009, the largest number in recent years.

China produced 456 feature films last year, ranking third in the world behind India and the United States. One third of these films have been released and shown nationwide. In addition, 50 foreign films were imported last year.

In 2009, China also produced 27 animated cartoons, 19 documentary films, 52 popular science films, and 110 digital telecines. Counting box-office and ad revenues, the overall film-related takings amounted to 10.7 billion yuan (1.6 billion) in 2009, a year-on-year increase of 26 percent.

Meanwhile, last year's financial crisis did not hit the domestic performance market. Instead, supply and demand for theatrical shows kept increasing. That was the case especially in economically developed cities like Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. Piao.com.cn statistics show the performance market in these three cities accounts for 70 percent of the country's total.

Ad, press, publishing

China's total advertising value in 2009 amounted to 507.5 billion yuan ($74.6 billion), a year-on-year increase of 13.5 percent, the report said. The growth of the advertising industry exceeded that of the gross domestic product, which shows confidence of enterprises in the future of the market.

Press and publishing, especially digital publishing, have been growing at a stable rate in the past years, the report said. The output value of digital publishing products in 2009 was higher than that of traditional publishing products, with a growth rate of 50 percent.

The report forecasts 2010 as a landmark year for the press and publishing industry, as the reform of restructuring the operational mechanism of publishing houses will be accelerated this year.

Household consumption on cultural and entertainment products and services: 608 billion yuan ($89 billion)

Governmental culture-related spending: 110 billion yuan ($16 billion)

Cultural products and services exports: 70 billion yuan ($10 billion)


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