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Culture and Creative Industries in China

By EU SME Centre | Report      28.07.2014     Tags: Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Leisure and recreation, Others, ... (5 more) (hide)

Culture and Creative industries comprise a large number of sectors that are often interconnected and related. This report aims to offer an overview of some of these sectors in the Chinese context, focusing on the opportunities for European SMEs.


China’s improving economic situation and the growth of a demanding urban middle class are creating a favourable situation for the development of the Creative Industries. The pattern of consumption has changed and families spend more than 7% of their overall outlay on cultural products and services. Strong central government control is diversifying into a range of policies for each industry, with a focus on establishing more cooperation with western companies and competing on the international market.


The report covers sectors related to the Arts (art, antiques, performing arts, music and photography), Media (publishing, film, television and radio) and Design Consultancy (product design, architecture, fashion, software, video games and advertising). For each of the sectors it offers an overview, a description of the regulatory system as well as opportunities and barriers for European SMEs.


Over the last decade the Chinese cultural industry multiplied by 60 times, reaching almost 4% of GDP and influencing other sectors. Advances in technology have a strong impact on the consumption and access of creative content through the internet and mobile devices. Financial capital has become involved in supporting the industry and real estate has diversified into creative parks and cultural facilities.


The regulatory structure has gradually changed, offering more opportunities to foreign companies. Intellectual property rights protection is still one of the issues affecting innovation and some policies are still incomplete, but after a consistent period of growth, the creative industries are entering a stage of development where foreign companies will have to compete with local creative talent in a more international scenario.


Reform of state-owned enterprises in the creative industries has opened the market to SMEs in sectors such as publishing, architecture and industrial design, where previous policies were more protectionist. SMEs are more dynamic and competitive and the Chinese government has strategically supported them in the 12th Five-Year Plan. Sectors such as advertising, crafts, design communication and video production are businesses relying on the strength of local environments, while cooperation between SMEs and large Chinese companies is required in sectors such as architecture, product design, music, film and television.

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