‘Development Zones’ Tag
Deals on cultural projects signed
Beijing, October 29th (China.org)

Three deals in the cultural and creative industries were signed at the 17th Beijing-Hong Kong Economic Cooperation Symposium, which took place in Beijing from October 23 to 24.

The three deals, inked at a business matching event held on October 24, were promoted by the Beijing Cultural and Creative Industry Promotion Center. Included are the following three programs.

The Xiangjiang International Shengtang Cultural and Creative Park, at a worth of 80 million yuan (US$12.9 million), will be built in the core area of Tian’anmen Square in Beijing, targeting high-end cultural and creative enterprises.

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Source: China.org

Cyberport Speaker Series: Fundraising in Silicon Valley
Hong Kong, October 7th (Cyberport)

Cyberport’s speaker series “Fundraising in Silicon Valley” on 9 October 2013 will feature several influential VC partners, angel investors, startup incubators, TechCrunch’s CrunchBase and high profile startup founders from Silicon Valley. Whether you are seeking funding or aiming to build a tech startup, this event is not to be missed.

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Source: Cyberport

Some thoughts about the Shanghai Free-Trade Zone
Shanghai, October 1st (Economist)

The Shanghai Free-Trade Zone
A damp squib

FOR weeks now, pundits and politicians have been talking excitedly about the coming Shanghai Free Trade Zone (SFTZ). Li Keqiang, China’s prime minister, has personally championed this initiative, which he has indicated will kickstart his new government’s broader plans to liberalise China’s economy.

Li Ka-shing, a Hong Kong tycoon who is Asia’s richest man, claimed that the SFTZ could propel Shanghai past Hong Kong to become the country’s chief financial centre. Punters gobbled up shares of any Chinese firms with the word “Shanghai” in their name (absurdly including underwear makers) confident that the zone would boost their fortunes. Netizens were positively aflutter when rumours surfaced that the Great Firewall, which blocks access to the unfettered internet, would be suspended in the promised land.

The wait is over. Chinese authorities have at last launched the SFTZ formally, and issued a set of guidelines. They continue to insist that this is a landmark event, on par with the creation of the Shenzhen special economic zone over three decades ago—a breakthrough that helped usher in liberal economic reforms and three decades of spectacular growth. At a press event held in Shanghai on September 29th, officials used the word “innovation” 43 times as they gushed about how this experiment would help China. The new government wants to transform the economy from the sweatshop to the world into a global innovation powerhouse.

So is the SFTZ really the next Shenzen? It is too early to tell, not least because Chinese reformers have a habit of starting slowly out of the gate, but the signs thus far are unpromising.

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Source: Economist

Wuxi Studio brings modern film production to city
Wuxi, May 20th (China Daily)

Hollywood sits in a valley, with plenty of sunshine and all sorts of topography nearby. “Huallywood”, if it can be so called, is very different. It is encased in an old steel mill next to a wetland. It occupies only 6 square kilometers – that’s when all the planned construction is completed, but nothing you’ve read about it will prepare you for an on-the-ground tour.

In a word, it is chic, which means artist types may be at home here.

When the Xuelang Steel Group vacated the place, local authorities did not rush to raze its dilapidated facilities. Instead, they spent money to preserve the frames of the 180,000-square-meter buildings. But the innards have been rebuilt to accommodate studios of every kind, especially those related to film production and post-production.

Unlike scores of backlots-cum-theme-parks across China, Wuxi Studio, which is Huallywood’s official name, is not heavy on outdoor or location shooting. Rather, it has set its eye on the future, which is digital filmmaking. A couple of mammoth soundstages are under construction, but most of the stages are smaller in scale and fit for inserting virtual backgrounds. As most of the big-budget movies, especially those of the fantasy genre, employ sets and backgrounds that don’t physically exist, this segment of the industry is significant.

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Source: China Daily

China to Create $800 Million Tax-Free Entertainment, Culture Hub in Beijing
Beijing, March 22nd (Hollywood Reporter)

The tax-free “culture zone” will include TV and film facilities and is modeled after the “special economic zones” that made the country a manufacturing superpower.

A state-backed Chinese media conglomerate is planning to create a new $800 million, tax-free arts and entertainment hub in Beijing in the hope of giving the country’s gradually growing culture industries a jolt.

The so-called “Beijing Freeport of Culture” is the creation of Beijing Gehua Cultural Development Group, a company owned by the Beijing municipal government. Located next to Beijing Capital Airport, the culture zone will include film and television production facilities, fine arts storage and offices for companies involved in a range of creative businesses from luxury goods to software design, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

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Source: Hollywood Reporter

15 Cooperation Contracts Signed by Dalian and HK
Beijing, November 20th (China Daily)

Northeastern coastal city Dalian promoted its cultural industry on Nov 24 in Hong Kong, signing 15 cooperation contracts.

About 300 companies from the mainland and Hong Kong attended the event.

Dalian, known as a “romantic city”, boasts not only beautiful scenery but also a rich culture, said Cao Aihua, deputy mayor of Dalian.

The Dalian Cultural Industry Innovation Park attracted many investors. Located in the Shahekou district, it will become a cluster for the city’s cultural industry.

China Film Group Corporation, Aviation Industry Corporation of China, and some Hong Kong-based companies signed contracts to participate in the construction of the park.

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Source: China Daily

Xiamen gets creative with industrial parks
Xiamen, October 27th (China Daily)

Prominent industrial parks for cultural and creative businesses have helped make Xiamen, a coastal city in East China’s Fujian province, a lightning rod for investment in this growing segment of the economy.

Covering more than 20 square kilometers, the Fujian and Taiwan Cultural Industry Park (Xiamen) was recently granted the title of National Cultural Industry Trail Zone by the Ministry of Culture.

According to the ministry, the designation will boost the development of the cultural and creative industry by selecting cultural parks as role models. The recipients of the title are all parks considered well-planned projects with great market potential.

Established in 2011, the park features five specific zones. Zone A focuses on digital technology and new media, and Zone B has a theme of creative design.

While Zone C is set to be developed into a TV and film center, Zone D prioritizes antique handcrafts and Zone E is oriented toward a combination of culture and tourism.

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Source: China Daily

Bona Film Group to Open 3D Production Base in Tianjin
Tianjin, May 10th (Screen Daily)

Bona has signed with the Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-city to set up an operation centre in its “National Animation Industry Compound”. Tracks In The Snowy Forest will be directed by Tsui, while The White-Hair Witch will be produced by Tsui and Huang Jianxin and directed by Jacob Cheung.

“We plan to produce two to three 3D films in 2012,” said Bona CEO Yu Dong, speaking in Tianjin, a city 110 km southwest of Beijing. Tsui’s 3D Flying Swords Of Dragon Gate, produced by Bona, grossed $71m (RMB450m) in China in 2011.

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Source: Screen Daily

Raleigh Studios to Manage China’s Wuxi Studio
Beijing, June 5th (Hollywood Reporter)

Former Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences president Sid Ganis has been advising the facility just outside Shanghai that is scheduled to open by August with six soundstages.

Independent studio operator Raleigh Studios said Tuesday it has entered a long-term management agreement with Wuxi Studio in Wuxi, China, which is scheduled to open its doors just outside Shanghai this summer.

Financial terms weren’t disclosed.

The deal will see Raleigh manage Wuxi’s production and entertainment complex, which the partners said “will serve as a hub for foreign productions seeking Chinese co-production opportunities” and for the Chinese film and TV market.

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Source: Hollywood Reporter

China Animation is booming, not blooming
Beijing, January 28th 2012 (China Daily)

China’s animation industry is still in its infancy but it’s a very chubby baby, fed by investors pouring in capital and by favorable government policies.

It has been productive, too. In 2003, the industry turned out 12,000 minutes of original cartoons. In 2010, the volume was more than 220,000 minutes, according to data from the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television.

Last year’s total production is expected to surpass 240,000 minutes.

But analysts say little remarkable progress has been made. They blame a lack of clear guidelines for development of the industry and blind investment in expectation of huge returns.

While more than 10,000 animation enterprises are operating in the market, few have made a profit or found the right way to run their business, said Li Yang, director of the expert committee on the industry’s development under the State Council.

And among the nearly 22 weeks’ worth of original cartoons produced in 2010, “there have barely been any really excellent ones, which actually turns out to be a huge waste of money, time and manpower”, he said.

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Source: China Daily

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