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China Design Innovation

Design in China: Shanghai to attract animation and cartoon enterprises into Pudong

The Pudong New Area government in Shanghai expects to attract more than 200 animation and cartoon enterprises into Zhangjiang High-tech Park within five to 10 years, the district government said recently. The new facility will also provide a creative hub for animation and comics artists and investors to tap the vast potential of the Chinese domestic market. ‘The combination of animation and online game development can help to form integrated industries that can optimize resources,’ said Yuan Liqiang, general manager of the Shanghai Zhangjiang Creative Industry Development Co Ltd…

The Pudong New Area government in Shanghai expects to attract more than 200 animation and cartoon enterprises into Zhangjiang High-tech Park within five to 10 years, the district government said recently.

To forge the city’s animation industry base in Zhangjiang, the government plans to set up an “animation valley” as Phase 2 of the Zhangjiang Creative Industry Base.

The new facility will also provide a creative hub for animation and comics artists and investors to tap the vast potential of the Chinese domestic market.

The valley has teams of animators, together with BG artists, graphic designers and directors.

Each link in the animation production process can be completed at the facility, including graphic design, storyboard, layout, coloration, compositing, visual effects and post-production.

In the past three years, Zhangjiang Creative Industry Base has attracted more than 20 companies in comics and animation making.

These include Fantasia Animation, which is China’s first privately owned animation company that is qualified to export their products, and Hippo Animation, which specializes in producing 3D and 2D animation feature films, TV series, games and short mobile animation series.

Other tenants include City Animation, which adapts online literature into comics that are available in the city’s 4,000 supermarkets and convenience stores.

These enterprises are well integrated with the nearby online game base, which was established three years ago.

The country’s biggest base for online games, this part of the park is home to over 30 online game developers and operators.

These include SNDA Entertainment, The 9, and Electronic Arts. Online game companies at the park have captured a combined 75 percent share of the Chinese online games market, according to 2005 figures.

“The combination of animation and online game development can help to form integrated industries that can optimize resources,” said Yuan Liqiang, general manager of the Shanghai Zhangjiang Creative Industry Development Co Ltd.

The plan also involves building China’s first animation museum and animation cinema. The “animation valley” will be a market-oriented research and development platform jointly invested by the Pudong New Area government, Shanghai Zhangjiang (Group) Co Ltd and Shanghai Movie Art Academy, district officials said.

The final goal within a decade is to create more than 5 billion yuan (US$730 million) in output value of animation-related products, and have three to five leading companies in the comics and animation, film and TV post-production and design sectors. In other words, it will be cartoon central.

A complete industry chain including creation, planning, brokerage, post-production, marketing, communication, extensive development and tourism is expected to be forged.

By Itamar Medeiros

Originally from Brazil, Itamar Medeiros currently lives in Germany, where he works as Lead Product Design Strategist at SAP and promotes User Experience Design as visiting lecturer at Köln International School of Design. Working in the Information Technology industry since 1998, Itamar Medeiros has helped truly global companies in several countries (Argentina, Brazil, China, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Mexico, The Netherlands, Poland, United Arab Emirates, United States) create great user experience through advocating Design and Innovation principles. During his 7 years in China, he championed the User Experience Design discipline as User Experience Manager at Autodesk and Local Coordinator of the Interaction Design Association (IxDA) in Shanghai

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