By Wang Wenzheng
At an audiovisual intelligent science and technology exhibition center of Soundking Group Co., Ltd., a manufacturer of sound equipment based in Ningbo, east China’s Zhejiang Province, domestically developed devices present an audio-visual feast to visitors.
The center exhibits more technological devices including an immersive sound system, an intelligent classroom sound reinforcement system, a multi-functional digital cinema featuring panoramic sound and an intelligent LED touch screen.
As a key foreign cultural trade firm in China, Soundking Group receives a large number of orders placed by overseas clients during various foreign trade exhibitions each year. Providing design and debugging services for clients from countries such as Italy, the U.S. and Germany, the company has reached more than 1,000 clients. In 2021, the group took the 16th spot in a list of the top 225 professional audio product and musical instrument industries in the world, according to Music Trades, an international authoritative magazine.
In recent years, China’s foreign cultural trade has made remarkable progress thanks to policy and funding support.
China is the world’s largest trading country in goods, and made-in-China goods have long become a part of people’s lives all over the world. Nowadays, Chinese cultural products are also going global at an accelerated pace. Chinese publications, TV dramas, games, animations, design services, advertising services and copyrighted products and services are seeing increasing popularity among companies and citizens from foreign countries.
China’s export of cultural products has ranked among the top in the world for many years. Last year, the country’s foreign cultural trade grew 38.7 percent year-on-year to hit $200 billion for the first time. The import and export volume of cultural products reached $155.8 billion, an increase of 43.4 percent over the previous year, and the volume of cultural services increased by 24.3 percent to $44.22 billion.
Digitalization plays a vital role in pushing for the innovative development of China’s foreign cultural trade. While the export of traditional cultural products keeps expanding, the export of online games and e-sports is also gaining steam in overseas markets.
Chinese companies are adopting digital technologies to continuously create new cultural products with original IP. Chinese-made games Genshin Impact and Honor of Kings have gained popularity in overseas markets and many online games with Chinese cultural elements are seeing robust sales on well-known international online game platforms such as STEAM.
The actual sales of China’s independently developed games in overseas markets approached nearly $9 billion, an increase of 6.16 percent year-on-year in the first half of 2022, according to a report on China’s gaming industry released by the China Audio-video and Digital Publishing Association.
Chinese cultural products have become globally competitive in digital culture. The standards formulated by the country in the fields of mobile animation and digital art display have been designated as international standards, said Li Jiashan, associate dean of the China Institute for Service Trade at the Beijing International Studies University.
To further vitalize China’s foreign cultural trade, the Ministry of Commerce and other departments recently issued a guideline to promote the high-quality development of foreign cultural trade. The guideline chartered the course for Chinese foreign cultural trade enterprises to expand overseas markets and push for high-quality development of foreign cultural trade.
It said that efforts should be made to steadily enlarge the scale of China’s foreign cultural trade, optimize the structure of the sector, and steadily increase the proportion of high value-added services in the overall foreign cultural trade.
The guideline also pointed out that several cultural trade service platforms will be built across the country and a batch of digital cultural platforms with global influence and leading enterprises will be established by 2025.
The platforms are expected to provide a variety of services for enterprises in such areas as policy advisory, market information, legal services, technical support, and talent recruitment, guide relevant companies to healthy and innovation-driven development with global influence, and drive the export of cultural products and services.