Since the worldwide success of Zhang Yimou's "Hero" in 2002, Beijing is increasingly churning out glossy blockbusters whose production values (and budgets) rival those of Hollywood. This is all part of a China's plan to build a movie and entertainment industry, not just for its 1.3 billion inhabitants, but for the whole world—a $32 billion market.
Over the past couple years, China has built thousands of movie theaters and injected billions of dollars into state-run television and media organizations. In his address to the National People's Congress earlier this year, Premier Wen Jiabao encouraged strengthening cultural industries, including film. He understands that Hollywood is not just a hugely profitable industry but also an exporter of American values. And this "soft power" will be key to China's peaceful rise as the world's largest economy.
Big Think spoke to Yang Lan, China's most famous television personality, whom the media has dubbed the Oprah of China (even though Oprah has an estimated 7 million regular viewers, while Yang has just 200 million). She described the movie industry in Beijing, the hub of China's burgeoning media and entertainment establishment, as booming:
"The movie industry has grown from 6 billion renminbi [$935 million] last year to 10 billion [$1.51billion] this year—more than 40 percent growth," she says. There are also hundreds of thousands of new theaters being built in China as part of what Yang describes as a "renaissance" of art and culture. "In 10 to 20 years you will see a huge increase of entertainment and original programming exported from China," she adds. "Animation may lead the way, and television dramas could be second. Talk shows will be difficult because of the language barrier. But you will see exhibitions of contemporary art, different performances, like "The First Emperor" opera starring Placido Domingo in 2007."
Yang says that in 50 years time, China will "definitely" rival Hollywood's global might if it continues on the right track.
Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.
No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.
The Oxfam report prompted Anand Giridharadas to tweet: "Don't be Pinkered into everything's-getting-better complacency."
- A new report by Oxfam argues that wealth inequality is causing poverty and misery around the world.
- In the last year, the world's billionaires saw their wealth increase by 12%, while the poorest 3.8 billion people on the planet lost 11% of their wealth.
- The report prompted Anand Giridharadas to tweet: "Don't be Pinkered into everything's-getting-better complacency." We explain what Steven Pinker's got to do with it.
Moans, groans, and gripes release stress hormones in the brain.
Could you give up complaining for a whole month? That's the crux of this interesting piece by Jessica Hullinger over at Fast Company. Hullinger explores the reasons why humans are so predisposed to griping and why, despite these predispositions, we should all try to complain less. As for no complaining for a month, that was the goal for people enrolled in the Complaint Restraint project.
Participants sought to go the entirety of February without so much as a moan, groan, or bellyache.
- Facebook and Google began as companies with supposedly noble purposes.
- Creating a more connected world and indexing the world's information: what could be better than that?
- But pressure to return value to shareholders came at the expense of their own users.
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