SHANGHAI, May 16, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- A record 15.3 billion yuan (US$2.2 billion) in contracts and sales were closed at the recently concluded 13th China International Cartoon and Animation Festival in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province.
China's animation market is expected to grow to 150 billion yuan this year -- triple its value in 2010, according to the Nikkei Asian Review. If China meets those expectations, its animation market would surpass Japan's to become the second largest in the world after the US.
Behind the milestone are enterprises such as Chinese tech giant Tencent Holdings Ltd. and bilibili, which have spent years cultivating China's animation and comic market.
Tencent, with a market capitalization of US$302 billion, is one of the world's largest companies. With more than 800 million users, Tencent has built an all-platform entertainment ecosystem that comprises comics, animation and games. Tencent Animation & Comic is the company's platform for comics and animation. Bolstered by Tencent's reverence for intellectual property rights, Tencent Animation& Comic has grown into China's largest legitimate online platform for original comics and animation.
Although bilibili is smaller and has fewer users than Tencent, it has become one of the largest entertainment and pop culture communities in China. From its roots as a video website for anime creators and hardcore anime fans, bilibili has grown into an online video community with users from around the world, thanks to the prevalence of the mobile phone and the popularization of bilibili's bullet comment function, which allows users to remark on what they're watching in real time.
The bullet comment is bilibili's most distinctive feature. It creates a viewing experience that offers instant opinions and shares ideas moment by moment. Similar to Snapchat's "burn after reading" function, bullet comments have been embraced by young people. The combination of bullet comments and original videos has made bilibili a leader in the ACG (anime, comics and games) subculture.
The emergence of bilibili allows users to easily find interesting videos and people to share their interests with at no cost. bilibili hosts videos under 13 categories, including Japanese anime series, video games, tech, lifestyle and Otaku dance music programs. User-generated context has helped bilibili expand the subject matter of its videos beyond animation and into the realms of international politics, social issues and entertainment. For example, a talented young person has auto-tuned one of the US presidential debates between Hillary Clinton and US President Donald Trump to a love song. (http://www.bilibili.com/video/av6629691)
bilibili has gradually influenced and transformed the animation industry since bullet comments have become a standard tool for major video sites in China. Outstanding original videos can receive millions of clicks on bilibili, and Chinese animation is getting more attention from young people.
Tencent's success has turned online entertainment into a solid business. And bilibili has given ACG content makers an outlet to both showcase their work and explore business opportunities.