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English>>Life & Culture

ACG subculture flourishes as investors plough more into product generation

(Global Times)    09:19, June 24, 2015

The difference in the values, behavior, language and concepts of ACG fans like Wei Ying (middle) and those of the three-dimensional world, is known as "the wall." Photo: Cui Meng/GT

Manga mania

Wei Ying goes to work in clothes inspired by the Victorian era - a layered lilac dress with a big bow across the front, anklet socks, and pink Mary-Jane shoes. Few would know that Wei is 28 years old and almost four months pregnant.

But people in the "two-dimensional" world will pick up clues simply from the way that Wei is dressed, that she is one of them - a growing group of Chinese youth who are passionate about the virtual world that is constructed by the anime, comic and games (ACG) culture.

The prosperity of the ACG community, the original works of which used to be in two-dimensional form and attracted only a small group of people, is now a subcultural phenomenon that has become a gold mine for many.

According to the Annual Report on the Development of China's Animation Industry (2014), the animation industry alone reached a gross output of 87 billion yuan ($14 billion) in 2013, and might have reached as much as 100 billion in 2014, chinanews.com reported.

Cashing in on the market

Wei has been enthralled by comics ever since she was a little girl. Now she has the popular manga works and games at her fingertips, and speaks passionately about her favorite character voices.

She said that she won't hesitate to spend money online if she sees any ACG-style clothing that she likes.

Last year, manga website manhuabang.com conducted research on ACG smartphone app users. It found that the old image of the ACG community consisting only of nerdy males, is changing. Female clients, like Wei, account for about 58 percent of users.

Some 62 percent of the market share is made up of post-1990s users, while post-2000s fans account for another 30 percent.

Due to the natural consumer habits of students, young white collar workers are still the main consumers, with those spending more than 2,000 yuan ($322) annually accounting for about 10 percent, the research found. Beijing ranks second after Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, as the cities with the most users.

Dong Zhiling, co-founder of u17.com (a platform for original comics), told Metropolitan that investors are recognizing the fact that the ACG has great growth potential.

"With the first generation of the comic community now grown up, their purchasing power is improving, and so is the potential of the market."

Dong is the producer of One Hundred Thousand Bad Jokes(2014), which is considered one of the most successful youth animation movies. Derived from the comic with the same name, the movie's production costs were less than 10 million yuan, but the movie has grossed 120 million yuan at the box office.

On the other hand, players spend as much as 5 million yuan a day on game credit and recharge cards for the smartphone game based on the movie, said Deng.

"Among all the platforms, it seems it's easiest to make money from smartphone games," said Dong. "Games in the Chinese market usually garner more than just ACG fans, but also regular people."


(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor:Gao Yinan,Zhang Qian)

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