China to Build $2 Billion Film Studio to Expand Cultural Influence
With a clear aim to expand its cultural influence across the globe, China's government has announced a grand plan to construct a $2 billion film studio.
The sprawling studio will come up in the southwest of Chongqing town and will be inclusive of a theme park and various other tourist attractions, Chinese state media Xinhua reported.
Like Us on Facebook
Xinhua further reported that officials have already signed agreements with several foreign firms including tie-ups with many gaming and online entertainment companies. The construction will start next year and will incur approximately 15 billion yuan ($2.18 billion).
The film studio will be named after President Xi Jinping's ambitious "One Belt, One Road" program, which is a huge infrastructure project that seeks to deepen China's economic association with its western and southern neighbors.
The multi-billion dollar studio is likely to give a mighty push to China's dream to emerge as the largest film market in the world. It is already the second largest market, after the U.S. The size of the lucrative Chinese market has propelled several big American studios like Walt Disney and 20th Century Fox to vie for the market share.
However, foreign studios' quest to conquer burgeoning Chinese market is not that easy. They face various government restrictions in screening their movies in the country. Their race to conquer the second largest market is also hindered by the fact that Chinese audience has more preference on domestic movies than imported ones.
Chinese entertainment companies have been equally active in expanding their global presence. Chinese multinational conglomerate Dalian Wanda, world's largest cinema chain operator, recently acquired American firm AMC Theatres and Legendary Entertainment. Wanda also owns Hengdian World Studios, which spawns almost 3,000 hectares (7,000 acres).