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How to pan for gold in cultural investment fever

(People's Daily Online)

15:38, September 24, 2012

China’s cultural and creative industries enjoy exciting prospects thanks to the introduction of the Plan on Reinvigoration of the Cultural Industry and other policies in recent years. Major cultural exhibitions have brought substantial economic benefits to many places, and sparked a cultural investment fever across the country.

China has a huge cultural and creative market. Although the share of capital invested in overseas returnees’ businesses has dropped from previous 70 percent to 30 percent, overseas returnees still have considerable advantage in cultural and creative industries. “Western culture broadens the horizons of overseas returnees,” said Wang Zhiyun, deputy director of the Ningbo Overseas Student Entrepreneurs' Park. Returnees also bring back innovative business ideas. “We adopt the business model of separating documentary production from broadcasting, which is rare in China,” said Wen Zheng, CEO of Yourgoal Education Media in Beijing.

Overseas returnees should cooperate with domestic talent in starting a cultural and creative business. Returnees are familiar with the development models of Western cultural and creative industries, but do not know much about the actual market situation back in China. It may take them some time to adapt. Li Tang, chairman of Beijing Run Dao Jia Hua PR Consultants Ltd, said that overseas returnees should cooperate with domestic talent to make up for their lack of understanding of the Chinese market. The integration of domestic social connections and advanced Western business ideas can shorten the adaptation period for overseas returnees. Wang suggests cultural and creative industries adopt the “professional manager” development model. In other words, overseas returnees should hire domestic talent who are familiar with the Chinese market to take charge of marketing for their companies, so they can get “twice the result with half the effort.”

Domestic cultural and creative industries face financing challenges. As capital-intensive industries, cultural and creative industries need strong financial backing, and financing is crucial to the survival of companies in this sector. “Cultural and creative industries are still emerging industries in China with low market recognition, so banks and governments are very cautious about granting them loans,” Li said. Zheng believes that improving one’s business model is the key to overcoming financing problems when a good business idea and promotional platform appear.

Source:People's Daily Overseas Edition , author: Zhang Yuzhao.

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