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Culture Beyond Borders | China's culture is going global

What stories lie behind the globalization of Chinese culture? Perhaps, at the 20th China (Shenzhen) International Cultural Industries Fair, we can find the answer.

Recently, the second season of the TV series "Joy of Life", adapted from a popular online novel published on the APP Qidian Reader of China Literature Limited, was simultaneously released on Disney+ in multiple countries and regions, as well as on CCTV and Tencent Video. This marks Disney's first acquisition of the overseas broadcasting right for a Chinese web novel adaptation.

“On Webnovel, we have over 3,800 excellent domestic web novels translated into English, reaching over 230 million users.” Yang Chen, Vice President and Chief Editor of China Literature Limited told us at the fair. Over the past two decades, China Literature Limited, as a pioneer in exporting Chinese web novels, has witnessed the rapid development of Chinese culture going global. 

By the end of 2023, the scale of China's online literature reading market reached 40.43 billion yuan, and the market size of online literature IPs soared to 260.5 billion yuan. Web novels, games, films and TV shows have become the three driving forces behind cultural globalization. 

“Currently, our overseas business accounts for about 40% of our overall revenue.” Li Yin, Public Relationship Senior Manager of 37 Interactive Entertainment stated that his company is expanding overseas market year on year.

In 2023, the actual revenue from the domestic game market reached 302.964 billion yuan, with a year-on-year growth of 13.95%, surpassing the 300 billion yuan threshold for the first time. Among them, the overseas sales of self-developed products reached 16.366 billion US dollars, maintaining a scale of over one trillion yuan for four consecutive years.

Games, web novels, films and TV shows, from sporadic instances of cultural exports in the past to the current mass globalization, have demonstrated the vibrant vitality and influence of Chinese culture during its global dissemination. Li Yin considered the game of "Trading Legend" which sets in the background of the Northern Song Dynasty's Bianliang, can introduce traditional Chinese culture to friends all over the world, allowing them to understand the charm of Chinese culture.

With the development of technology and further deepening of cultural exchanges between China and foreign countries, the globalization of Chinese culture will embrace an even brighter future. As the unique charm of Eastern civilization spreads around the world, new chapters of Chinese culture's globalization are being unfolded before our eyes.

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