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China's sci-fi industry rakes in $16b in 2023

Xinhua | Updated: 2024-04-28 09:56

People pass by a poster of Chinese sci-fi blockbuster The Wandering Earth in Shanghai last February. [Photo provided to China Daily]

BEIJING - China's sci-fi industry saw accelerated growth in 2023, generating a total revenue of 113.29 billion yuan ($16 billion), according to a report released on Saturday.

The revenue represented year-on-year growth of 29.1 percent, according to the 2024 China Science Fiction Industry Report, which was made public at the eighth China Science Fiction Convention in Beijing.

Riding on a tech boom and the success of screen adaptations of domestic sci-fi literature, China's sci-fi industry has seen rapid expansion in recent years. The industry's 2023 revenue was more than 10 times the 2016 figure of nearly 10 billion yuan.

In breakdown, sci-fi publications pocketed 3.17 billion yuan in 2023, up 4.3 percent from the previous year, said the report.

Sci-fi films and TV works raked in 11.59 billion yuan in 2023, marking a yearly increase of 38.8 percent. Last year saw a significant rise in the numbers of sci-fi web series and mini-series, as well as short and medium-length sci-fi videos, according to the report.

In 2023, sci-fi blockbuster "The Wandering Earth II," adapted from Liu Cixin's novel of the same name, scored more than 4 billion yuan at the box office. The Hugo Award winner also saw one of his other novels, "The Three Body Problem," adapted into a widely acclaimed TV drama that was screened on Tencent Video in 2023.

Sci-fi games contributed the bulk of the total revenue, accounting for 65.19 billion yuan, up 15.4 percent year-on-year. Sci-fi cultural tourism earned 31.06 billion yuan, surging 106.7 percent from the year before.

The report was jointly released by the China Science Fiction Research Center, and the Research Center for Science and Human Imagination at the Southern University of Science and Technology.

He Junke, vice-chair of the China Association for Science and Technology, said that sci-fi culture is on the rise in China.

"Chinese teenagers are showing a stronger interest in science fiction," he said at the opening ceremony of the convention. "And there is a considerable increase in the number of young sci-fi content creators."

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