The Economic Contribution of Film and Television in China in 2016 report found that the film and television industry contributed a total of $86.3 billion (or 573 billion Yuan) to the Chinese economy in 2016. The overall economic contribution increased by $22 billion (or 177 billion yuan), a 25% surge since the research was last conducted in 2014. The sector supported a total of 4.1M jobs and generated a total tax contribution of $15.9 billion (or 105 billion Yuan).
The report was released today by the MPAA whose chairman and CEO Charles Rivkin just ended a five-day tour of Hong Kong and China – his first in the region as head of the MPAA – during which he met with top industry leaders, filmmakers, and government representatives. It also comes as U.S.-Chinese relations are still cool and as Chinese investment in the U.S. entertainment industry has been significantly pulled back.
The annual MPA end-of-year film and TV industry reception, held at the Hotel Éclat Beijing, featured key representatives of the film and television industry in China, MPAA members, and media. The event was followed by a special screening of the film Youth from director Feng Xiaogang. The coming-of-age drama is about China’s People’s Liberation Army about young people making peace with the past.
That film was yanked from having distribution in China ahead of the Middle Kingdom’s lucrative National Day holiday because it was seen as controversial. However, it was reinstated two months later and is being released in the country today.
The relationship between the U.S. and China has been tense since President Trump took office. The report was prepared by Oxford Economics and developed in partnership with China Film Distribution and Exhibition Association, China Film Producers’ Association, China Film Copyright Association, and China Audio-Video and Digital Publishing Association. The data was based in part on official statistics in the “Blue Book of China’s Radio, Film and Television” published by the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SAPPRFT).
Rivkin said: “These numbers tell a great story about the remarkable growth and economic importance of the film and television industry in China. They also underscore our partnership with the local film community and wider industry which will only continue to grow stronger.” Rivkin presented the report at the organization’s annual end-of-year screen community reception.
Jiang Ping, Vice Chairman and President of China Film Corporation (CFC), noted in a prepared statement: “The success of the Chinese film and television industry is in large part due to the creativity, passion and drive of the many people who work in it. The success is also due to the contributions of the major stakeholders, including the international community with whom we share knowledge, build partnerships, make better movies, and give people an all-round enjoyable viewing experience. We are also working closely together to protect our intellectual property, which is absolutely necessary if this industry is to achieve its full potential.”
Ming Zhengjiang, Chairman of China Film Producers Association (CFPA), said in a statement “It is good to see the film and television industry continue to develop and grow. We are seeing audiences enjoy film and television content in many ways, from the all-immersive experience of the cinema, to television in the home, and on mobile devices. The Internet is integral to the success of our industry – not only for a blossoming OTT sector, but also in the way that audiences hear about new shows, buy their tickets, and share their experience with friends. It is an exciting time for our industry, and we look forward to continued success.”
The report highlights the economic contribution of the core film and television sectors and the emerging internet streaming services. It also evaluates the economic impact of new cinemas in Tier 3-5 cities, film tourism, and film festivals.
The total economic contribution represents the impact of direct industry jobs and spending, along with indirect jobs and wages in thousands of companies with which the industry does business. This includes caterers, dry cleaners, hotels, florists, hardware and lumber suppliers, software, and digital equipment suppliers, as well as those doing business with consumers, such as home entertainment distributors, theme parks and tourist attractions.