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China Opens Toon Industry to Private Investors

In an effort to grow the animation industry in the country, China has announced that it will encourage private investors developing and creating animated films and TV series, reports CHINA DAILY. In terms with the Opinions Regarding Development of Animation and Comic Industry for Film and TV Programs in China, the State Broadcasting and Radio Administration promised that trustworthy, privately-financed cartoon making agencies would be treated equally with state-backed animation and comic production organizations.

Zhang Songlin, deputy head of China Animation and Comic Society and animation producer, said the demand for animation professionals is nearing 250,000, but only 10,000 college-trained specialists are in China and each year animation programs train just 300 graduates. Currently 90% of the cartoon market in China is made up of foreign shows.

Helping improve the industry in the last year were three conventions held in Beijing, Nanjing, capital of east Chinas Jiangsu province, and Guangzhou, capital of south Chinas Guangdong province each, and six in Shanghai. Current production in China is limited to two state funded studios the Shanghai Fine Arts and Film Factory and the Animation Works Department with the China Central Television Station in Beijing. Both are state financed.

The government has set aside 60,000 minutes to domestically produced animation and comic works on 2,000 TV stations, but the Chinese production companies can only produce 20,000 minutes, leaving a gap of 40,000 minutes which are filled by foreign animated programs.

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