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A bird's-eye view of the China Comic and Animation Museum in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province. It is one of the largest museums that display the development of China's cartoon industry. [Photo: Xu Qingqing/China Daily]
Industries such as film, cartoon on fast track
China's economic powerhouse Zhejiang has seen its cultural sector grow from strength to strength.
During the 11th Five-Year Plan period (2006-10), the annual growth of the sector's output was 19 percent on average, 3.4 percentage points higher than the GDP growth during the period.
The eastern province generated 105.6 billion yuan ($16.9 billion) in the cultural sector in 2010.
It has revealed an ambitious target that by 2015, it expects to see an industrial output top 180 billion yuan
The sector now contributes 4 percent of the province's GDP.
Zhejiang sees cultural boom
In the sector, the press and publication industry generated 22.8 billion yuan in 2010 with a combined profit of 2.13 billion yuan.
In terms of the output of TV plays, Zhejiang ranked second, following the nation's capital Beijing in 2010.
In terms of the output volume of cartoons, it trailed only neighboring Jiangsu province in 2010. Zhejiang's capital city Hangzhou saw its output of cartoons rank among the top the Chinese cities, and the city's film ticket box income placed fifth in China.
According to a report from the Renmin University of China, which used a comprehensive index to evaluate the development strength on the strength in the cultural sector, Zhejiang ranked fourth, after Beijing, Shanghai and Guangdong.
In press and publication, film, cartoon, cultural tourism, exhibition and cultural products, Zhejiang has shown its niche.
To date, the province is home to some 40,000 private companies with considerable business scale engaged in the sector. Each of these companies has invested at least 130 million yuan.
Market leaders including Hengdian, Songcheng, Huace and Zhongnan have evolved in the province.
According to the development blueprint of the sector in the next five years, Zhejiang expects to foster a batch of key projects in the sector and build a series of cross-region cultural enterprises with strong competitive strength.
Hengdian, a small town in central Zhejiang's city of Dongyang, has been touted as China's Hollywood.
Last year it received 110 million tourists, and its tourism revenue reached 664 million yuan.
During the first quarter, the revenue of the firms hit 4.2 billion yuan.
Hengdian is only one small part of Zhejiang's cultural sector.
The town's TV and film sector began in 1994, and "it was so simple for me to start the business - I hoped people in the town could not only have common farming lives but also have fun in their spiritual lives", said the founder of the Hengdian Group Xu Wenrong.
The group has injected around 10 million yuan to establish nearly 30 large shooting zones. The town is Asia's largest filming center.
The film industry has boosted the tourism sector. Every weekend, almost all the rooms at local hotels are booked.
Zhongnan Cartoon, a Hangzhou-based animation company, accounts for 80 percent of China's exports of original animation, and its work is sold in more than 70 countries and regions.
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