China Focus: Chinese sci-fi industry fosters new growth drivers in productive imagination pursuit

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, May 13, 2024
Adjust font size:

BEIJING, May 13 (Xinhua) -- Bolstered by the success of popular science fiction works such as "The Three-Body Problem" and "The Wandering Earth," China's sci-fi industry is experiencing accelerated development.

According to the 2024 China Science Fiction Industry Report, total revenue of China's sci-fi industry had exceeded 100 billion yuan (14.1 billion U.S. dollars) for the first time in 2023, recording year-on-year growth of 29.1 percent and reaching over 10 times the figure of 2016.

Ranging from sci-fi literature and sci-fi film and TV works to real-life sci-fi scenarios, the industry is seeing strong momentum in emerging fields such as content consumption, the gaming market, and intellectual property (IP) development.

The consumption of sci-fi content has become a new area of growth for the industry. The report shows that in 2023, over 470,000 short and medium-length sci-fi videos had been released on video platforms such as Douyin, Kuaishou, and Bilibili, representing a year-on-year surge of 192.2 percent.

Sci-fi publications have also seen steady growth. Data from the China Writers Association shows that the country had registered a 15-percent increase in sci-fi publications in 2023, with approximately 250,000 new works produced.

Sci-fi games contributed the bulk of total revenue -- accounting for 65.19 billion yuan, an increase of 15.4 percent year on year.

Wu Yan, director of the Research Center for Science and Human Imagination under the Southern University of Science and Technology in the southern Guangdong Province, stated that China's sci-fi games have shown a positive trend in entering the international market.

Some games, which successfully integrated scenes and values from traditional Chinese culture, have now gained popularity among global players.

IP development has also emerged as a key growth driver in the industry, represented by sci-fi cultural tourism and merchandise related to major IPs like works by renowned sci-fi writer Liu Cixin.

In 2023, sci-fi cultural tourism had generated 31.06 billion yuan, soaring by 106.7 percent from the year before. Products derived from Liu's works had raked in around 210 million yuan, according to the report.

The report predicts that the impact of innovative technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) on the sci-fi industry will become more evident, while the deep integration of sci-fi with future industries has the potential to contribute to developing new quality productive forces.

"China's sci-fi industry is entering a golden period of development, with many sectors showing an upward trajectory," said Wang Ting, head of the China Science Fiction Research Center.

Experts have attributed the rapid expansion of China's sci-fi industry to the country's rising scientific and technological capabilities and national strength.

Chen Hui, secretary-general of the China Society for Futures Studies, said people are increasingly confident of the possibility of science fiction becoming science reality in China.

Although the industry still faces multiple challenges such as a lack of expertise and professionals, and IP infringement, experts and industry insiders remain upbeat about its future prospects in China.

They have called for efforts to tap into the potential of the sci-fi industry by employing new technologies and strengthening sci-fi education and IP protection.

Sci-fi writer Chen Qiufan said he believes that new forms in the creation of sci-fi content such as human-computer interaction, online interactive fiction, and AI-generated content are poised to become new trends shaping the sci-fi industry.

Professor Tam Kam Weng from the University of Macao stressed the importance of increased policy support and financial investment in promoting sci-fi education. Tam believes that sci-fi education for teenagers should be regarded as a crucial link in the process of boosting sci-tech innovation and promoting public scientific literacy.

An earlier report on China's sci-fi development showed that as of June 2021, 18 universities, including Southern University of Science and Technology and Tsinghua University, had offered 28 sci-fi-related courses.

A thriving sci-fi industry contributes to nurturing innovation and transforming imagination into productivity, delivering a promising future that benefits all, said Sun Lijun, vice president of Beijing Film Academy. Enditem

Follow on Twitter and Facebook to join the conversation.
ChinaNews App Download
Print E-mail Bookmark and Share

Go to Forum >>0 Comment(s)

No comments.

Add your comments...

  • User Name Required
  • Your Comment
  • Enter the words you see:   
    Racist, abusive and off-topic comments may be removed by the moderator.
Send your storiesGet more from