For all its flaws, cultural business is at least preferable to the traditional economic model characterized by high energy consumption, high pollution and emissions.
One question, however, remains fiercely debated: can all cultures be packaged and sold? Is cultural industrialization an unalloyed good?
This drive to turn culture into a packaged commodity has deeply disturbed many cultural critics. To quote Li Junru, deputy president of the Party School of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, culture has dual functions: the first is social and educational, the second is commercial. "We must develop cultural causes for the general good, and provide people with better cultural products and services," Li said in October.
Too much talk of culture's "industrialization" imperils society, he added.
A mercantile approach to culture will only lead to the very opposite of what the word stands for. Renowned writer Feng Jicai once pointed out that a big problem with so-called cultural industrialization is that it often oversteps its boundary and commercializes things that otherwise should not be commercialized.
And once culture is commercialized, the cardinal rule of the business world, which is to maximize profits, will run the show. One consequence is that culture will definitely be harmed and distorted in violation of its essence.
Feng's views are echoed by Culture Minister Cai Wu, who said last year that we should beware of advancing the cultural business in the fashion of a political movement.
We are now in the midst of a far-reaching cultural campaign, whose purpose ought to go beyond creating China's answer to DreamWorks, Disneyland, anime, or its own world-class online games (Yes, online games are an unlikely beneficiary of state policy support.).
Let's be a little more far-sighted. Any cultural campaign that falls short of enhancing the art appreciation of the nation, for whom such campaign is primarily meant, will be laughed off as skin-deep.
And without a culture-loving population, where does the momentum for cultural industrialization come from?
Amid the sloganeering over the cultural business as the new growth engine, we need to think carefully about its inherent contrasts and tensions.
As the Chinese saying goes, it takes ten years to grow a tree, but a hundred years to nurture a man.
With its technological prowess and deep pockets, China may well pull off in just a few decades what Hollywood achieved over the past century.
But a nation's cultural sophistication speaks for itself more eloquently through its people's education and demeanor, than through imposing opera houses or a few Chinese travesties of "Kung Fu Panda."