Government's new blueprint provides boost to Binjiang's cultural and creative industry
Zhijiang Cultural Industry Belt blueprint is expected to provide an engine of change to the development of Hangzhou’s cultural and creative industry.
The plan has earmarked four sectors — cartoon and video games, art creation, filmmaking and digital culture. Every county and district is expected to take the belt construction as an unparalleled opportunity to keep itself at the cutting edge, and Binjiang District is no exception.
Binjiang has been listed as a key area in Zhejiang Province’s cultural and creative industry by virtue of its booming development of cartoon and video games, digital culture, exhibitions, industrial design and electronic literature.
In 2017, the added value of the industry in Binjiang was worth 44.57 billion yuan (US$6.5 billion), jumping 17.6 percent year on year. Revenue of 394 cultural and creative companies in the district in 2017 grew to 10.78 billion yuan, up 25.7 percent from 2016.
Its cartoon and video game industry takes the lead in Zhejiang Province. Binjiang is the main venue for the annual China International Animation and Cartoon Festival which has been held for 14 years. In April this year, it attracted more than 360,000 visitors and industrial insiders from home and abroad.
China Cartoon and Animation Museum is under construction. With an area of more than 30,000 square meters, the museum is expected to be the first national-level venue that integrates cartoon with exhibition, collection, education, interaction and seminars. High technology and amenities will be used to provide visitors with new experience.
Binjiang boasts more than 140 video game companies, including NetEase, Bianfeng, Sparkly Key and Electronic Soul, and created a total revenue of 18.94 billion yuan last year. Furthermore, Sparkly Key gained 200 million yuan of investment from Internet tycoon Tencent recently.
Apart from an animation museum, Internet giant NetEase will set up a research and development center for video games, while entertainment mogul Wasu Group will build an industrial park that incubates digital content.
Binjiang District inaugurated an Electronic Literature Week in May, which attracted more than 400 noted writers with numerous online followers.
The output value of China’s electronic literature industry in 2017 totaled 10 billion yuan. By the end of June, the number of e-readers reached more than 352 million.
At present the industry lacks effective management and operation but Binjiang government is hoping to develop it under a commercial operation with government support.
Local government built a 1,700-square-meter incubator near Baima Lake to allure writers to set up studios there. And so far more than 60 noted writers have signed contracts with Binjiang. Digital culture and filmmaking companies will work with these network writers, turning their literature into video games, TV soaps and movies.
Copyright revenue from the incubator has generated 100 million yuan annually. In the future, an industrial chain comprised of literature creation, copyright trade, TV adaptation, filmmaking and video games will be established to accelerate the development.
In the blueprint of Zhijiang Cultural Belt, Baima Lake is listed as one of the core areas. Baima Lake Ecological Creative City is the only national-level demonstration industrial park in Zhejiang Province. It integrates culture with technology, gathering a batch of high-tech and creative enterprises.
Inside the park, original farmhouses were rejuvenated into modern studios and workshops, attracting a stream of artisans, craftsmen and writers. Around 300 creative organizations have settled there with 8,000 staff employed.
Binjiang’s picturesque scenery in Guanshan Mountain, Jingshan Lake and Qiantang River, and long history in Xixing and Changhe towns, are another attraction to companies and entrepreneurs looking for a soothing natural environment with favorable government policies.
Local authorities are offering a “one plus X” series policy to subsidize professionals and innovative companies. Last year the scheme provided more than 3.151 billion yuan of financial support to local companies.
Binjiang is also offering a subsidy of up to 150 million yuan to encourage overseas students and expats to start up business in the area. It will also grant 500 million yuan to support their life and work. In the next three years, the government plans to offer 15 billion yuan to pillar industries, including the cultural and creative industry.