Between the tangible and the intangible : China’s new development dilemma
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This paper examines challenges facing China’s animation industry. Animation is regarded by the Chinese government as a new growth industry. In order to fast? track development both national and regional governments have provided a range of incentives and allocated resources for the construction of designated animation bases, which are often located within industrial parks. The paper argues that China has both animation industries and animation content industries. The business activities of the former rely on the manufacture of branded product lines, everything from foodstuffs to apparel. For this reason, location in an industrial park can be an advantage, reflecting the ‘made in China’ industry cluster model. The animation content production industry, moreover, is about creating original content. This necessitates more systemic change; it requires transfer of ideas and tacit knowledge, often through international co-productions and joint ventures. The paper suggests that without such exchange of intangible assets animation bases may indeed be counter-productive to the challenge of producing original content.
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