- Within the last decade over 60,000 movie screens have been constructed, over 20,000 more than in North America.
- There are 800 million internet users in China, 98% of which access the web via phone.
- Over 90% of cinema admissions are sold online.
With all that said, China remains a very dicey place for entertainment businesses to function. So far, entertainment has been able to escape the wrath of the U.S./China trade issues - but talks of expanding foreign entertainment have stopped.
The movie industry is the poster child for everything entertainment in Big Red. Local movie production and its accompanying boxoffice has been on a steep rise and when added to U.S. produced films the total gate is expected to surpass the U.S. boxoffice next year.
China is also looking Westward. Gone are the days of co-produced films with the major studios for local consumption - the goal now is to create home-grown films that satisfy local tastes and also 'play' in overseas markets.
Content streaming is very big in China. Netflix is not allowed to operate as is YouTube and Amazon. Instead it's TenCent Video, Alibaba's Youku, and iQiyi, these three streamers represent a full 60% of all video-on-demand subscribers in the world!
The greatest foe of the entertainment industry are the government censors. Beijing views entertainment as a vehicle to boost China's image and bolster the Communist Party's politically correct values. Movies come under the control of the propaganda bureau - a group with no sensitivity for a commercial film's success or failure.
Currently there is a cap on the number of foreign films imported each year into the China market at 34. This cap was set in 2014 and there are no on-going discussions to increase this quota.
The Chinese entertainment market is huge and remains the big prize. The entertainment landscape has changed greatly over the last 10 years and the next 10 will see greater change and greater opportunities.
Jim Lavorato, President & Founder
Entertainment Equipment Corp.