Film, TV Industries Contribute $15.5 Billion to China's Economy (Study)

2012-10 BIZ China Tickets Illustration

When it comes to doing business with China, the devil is always in the details. The recent announcement that the Chinese government finally will comply with a World Trade Organization order to treat U.S. films more fairly is no exception.

According to a report jointly released by the Motion Picture Association and a Chinese film body, the country's screen industry also supports 909,000 domestic jobs.

The big economic numbers from the Chinese entertainment sector just keep getting bigger. While the Chinese box office experienced booming growth in 2011, the country's film and television industries directly contributed an overall $15.5 billion (100 billion yuan) to the domestic economy, according to a new report jointly released by the Motion Picture Association (MPA) and the China Film Distributors and Exhibitors Association (CFDEA).

This latest study -- “The Economic Contribution of the Film and Television Industries in China” -- was prepared by Oxford Economics and presented to a bevy of senior Chinese government officials and industry veterans at the Crown Plaza Hotel Beijing on Monday, as part of the 3rd Beijing International Film Festival.

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“The film and television industry in China has witnessed considerable growth over the past five years," said Yang Buting, Chairman of CFDEA, at the event. “This has been driven by the Chinese audiences’ desire to experience new films and television shows on multiple platforms, matched with incredible business innovation and development on the part of the industry. More people are enjoying films and television shows at brand new digital cinemas and on the latest hand-held devices than could ever have been imagined five years ago.”

According to the study, the Chinese screen industries supported 909,000 screen entertainment-related jobs in 2011 and generated tax revenues of $3.4 billion (22 billion yuan).

In 2011, the country’s box office expanded by about 30 percent to reach $2.06 billion, making it the third largest movie market in the world at the time, behind only North America and Japan, respectively. Last year, China eclipsed Japan and landed at number two, with box office revenues growing by 37 percent to hit $2.7 billion. Many analysts predict the Chinese movie market will become the world’s largest in less than ten years.

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“Chinese audiences are seeking out and enjoying a variety of films, whether they are made locally, internationally, or co-produced through collaborative international partnerships,” said Mike Ellis, President and Managing Director of the MPA in Asia Pacific. “This is a sector fueled by innovation, creativity and hard work, providing high-value jobs to hundreds of thousands of people and in the case of China, employing over 900,000 men and women... This is the reason why we are fully committed to working closely with the local screen community to promote and protect an industry that makes such a significant economic and cultural contribution to the country."