The Chinese film industry will surpass the United States this year.


A market that is growing faster than expected

The Chinese film industry is poised to surpass that of the United States this year according to Mike Ellis in charge of Asia-Pacific operations of Motion Picture Assn. Indeed, the market has developed at a surprising rate. Indeed, box office sales in China last year amounted to no less than $ 8 billion, with annual growth exceeding 17% in more than five years.

This impressive growth in the industry was the result of a very poor market in terms of film diversity in the 1990s. Indeed, the films broadcast in the cinemas were generally propaganda films that were approved by the Communist Party. The market has come a long way since, since 1994, the market has regained the momentum of growth thanks to the importation of foreign and especially American films. Nowadays, a quota of 34 international films is allowed per year in the country.

Two main characteristics justify the growth of the current market: the development of middle-class Chinese income, and the emergence of digital facilitating the customer journey in the industry.

The Chinese middle class for a few years offers its country a real opportunity to develop all the niche markets. This social class, with more than 350 million people, has a more substantial income allowing it to reconsider its expectations and aspire to new consumer behaviors. It is seen in the country as a factor of dynamism and relaunch of the growth of China.

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The digital sphere helps to facilitate the customer journey especially in the purchase of cinema places supported by the flow of digital transactions. In recent years, the rise of new technologies has made it possible to rethink the digital environment of China and integrate it into the development

process of the country. This switch to a digitized era completes and boosts the supply of many markets.

Distribution in China

The cinematographic circuit in China consists of production, distribution and exhibition. However, foreign companies do not have the ability to create a complete circuit. The production and distribution of films are the legal activities reserved for foreigners. Due to these restrictions, two strategies for integrating Chinese markets are available to international players. Direct import to the market and co-production of the film with a local partner.

Concerning cinematographic co-production, this includes participation in the creative processes, a Chinese actor and an international actor. In the Chinese market, three types of co-production are possible to set up to integrate the Chinese film market.

At first, mutual production. The two sides jointly produce the film, they invest each other in the capital, work and equipment share the profits. Then, production by assistance. This option provides international actors with the opportunity to finance the film while the domestic actor on its own provides the working environment and equipment as well as various aids if needed. Finally, the third possibility of co-production is production by commissions. This option allows commissioning the Chinese party to film in China.


the Co-production of movie in China is a way for international brand to entry the market

The competitive marketplace in China

The Chinese film industry is dominated by three main domestic actors, China Film Group, Huayi Brothers and Polybona, all involved at different levels of the film production chain in China. Two kinds of films are appreciated by consumers who are, science fictions and action films. An increasingly strong attraction is also found for romantic movies and movies offering good viewing quality such as 3D / IMAX movies.

Market Opportunities and Challenges

The market is still underdeveloped in comparison with other countries. The government’s support in terms of investment also supports the idea that the market will benefit from strong development in the years to come.

The pressure exerted by the different parties on the quotas allocated to foreign films could make it possible to see these restrictions disappear in the years to come and to redistribute the maps of the industry. The market is highly competitive, with three of the players having more than 80% of the market share. American films have a good reputation, unlike other foreign films.

This industry is still one of the many examples of the importance and the possibility of developing its activities in China, which remains a challenge for foreign companies on the one hand: the size and diversity of the country, the lack of information Upstream of international companies on the functioning of the Chinese environment and the speed at which markets can transform and restructure.

It is interesting to consider the place of the digital in your strategy of implantation on the cinematographic market in China. To do so, we will present several ways to integrate the market and make you known to consumers.

Using Social Media as a First Approach

Social networks in China represent a way to increase your visibility in the Chinese market. Indeed, in a hyper connected environment, more than 900 million Chinese have access to the Internet and to this type of platform. A social platform like Wechat, which integrates various features of services is an application used by more than 70% of individuals. The application became, after 5 years, a launching pad for foreign players wishing to develop in China.

The application is used in the search for information by consumers. It has become an interesting tool to exploit to gain visibility through the development of promotional campaigns. Its ease of use in purchasing processes helps to encourage buying impulse from consumers.

Here is the interface offered by the application for the purchase of movie tickets.

Chinese consumers have a blind faith in Wechat, usually referred to as the Wechat Times because it is often used for information searches by individuals. Having a presence on the different social platforms of the country is a crucial point in your development in the Middle Empire since awareness is one of the most important factors in buying consumers.

Integrate specialized forums to gain reputation

China, unlike our Western countries, uses forums to interact with individuals or promote brands. Justify by the collectivism of Chinese society, individuals trust in the recommendations of their peers.

Being visible on this type of platform is necessary for your development in the country as they help reassure consumers and provide quality information content. Obviously, it will be interesting to target the forums of your niche market and see which ones have an interest in touching and impacting the public more strongly.

This type of sites will allow you to give Internet users a quick presentation of your film and make it attractive by distributing photos, posters and trailers.

Dynamize your fame on the country’s video platforms

The censorship of the country does not allow mastodons like Youtube or Google to make Internet users benefit from their digital offers. The country has therefore created its own digital platforms. Youku, the equivalent of Youtube in the West, is a tool in which you will be interested in position yourself to promote your film. Indeed, videos generally have a very strong impact on consumers, which is even more true for the communication and promotion of a film.

Being present on different video platforms in China will allow you to make your content interactive, improve your visibility and therefore attract consumers.

Expand your presence on film festivals

20th Shanghai International Film Festival

One way to reach your target is also to be present at cultural events related to film production. Shanghai International Film Festival, Beijing International Film Festival are high-audience events and will earn you reputation. You make a name is crucial for the development of your film.

There are many ways to promote your film on the territory but this will only be possible if you have the right communication strategy to be on the front of the stage.




You Need a Partner in China?

To do this, partnering with a local partner such as Gentlemen Marketing Agency, you will increase your chances of success regarding your promotion. Indeed, we are working to develop for you, the communication strategy that will be effective and consistent with the Chinese market.