The bane of the cultural industry
Updated: 2013-11-29 07:02
The potential worth of China's cultural industry is about 4.7 trillion yuan ($771.6 billion) but currently it has a gap of 3.66 trillion, according to a recent report on Chinese cultural consumption. It is indeed debatable whether the figures are authoritative, but the problems facing cultural consumption in the country are undoubtedly quite serious, says an article on gmw.cn. Excerpts:
An analysis of the statistics provided by the report will show that cultural consumption has promoted social harmony in certain regions, and elevated cultural consumption has helped increase people's happiness.
According to some experts, there are three major reasons for the low cultural consumption: little cultural consumption in rural areas, the deep-rooted, rigid preference of spending on material rather than cultural products, and constrained cultural consumption because of lack of a foolproof social security system. When surplus income is used as a shield against future emergencies such as illnesses, the result is reduced consumption, especially on cultural products and events.
But the Third Plenary Session of the 18th Communist Party of China's Central Committee has taken note of the issue. If China's future economic pattern is based on consumption, the cultural industry would become one of the pillar industries, attracting more consumers to watch plays, concerts and movies in theaters, and to spend more on cultural products. But for that to happen, the cultural industry has to be comprehensively upgraded and become really innovative.
In developed countries, an average family spends about 30 percent of its income on cultural products and events; the corresponding figure in China is just about 7 percent. To make people spend more on cultural products, the government has to issue policies to stimulate cultural consumption and optimize the structure of cultural consumption.
(China Daily 11/29/2013 page9)