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Cultural & Design industry


Since 2003, when Shenzhen took the lead in China for establishing strategies for developing a culture-based city, the local cultural and creative industries have achieved robust growth, with an annual growth rate of more than 20%. The cultural and creative industries yielded an added value of 194.9 billion yuan in 2016, among the highest in the country. From 2004 to 2016, the added value produced by the cultural and creative industries accounted for 4.6% to 11% of the city's GDP. The sector has become an important engine for rapid and healthy economic development.


At the beginning of 2016, the Shenzhen Cultural Innovative Development 2020 Plan (2020 Plan) was passed. The 2020 Plan is the guidance to the cultural development of the city for the following five years. It aims to help enhance the city's comprehensive cultural strength and build a modern, globalized, innovative city with a strong soft power.


Shenzhen will explore the possibility of setting up a mechanism to protect unmovable cultural relics. The city will push forward the construction work to protect relics such as Nantou Ancient Town, Dapeng Fortress and Dawan Ancestral Residence. The city will try to find innovative ways to carry on and develop its intangible cultural heritage and other cultural traditions.

Shenzhen will set up a platform for social science research and think tanks. The city will implement a program to invite famous researchers to work at local academies and schools, introducing more visiting scholars and young scholars, and setting up postdoc stations. The aim is to increase the number of social science talents by 10-20% each year.

Shenzhen will try to hold a series of influential cultural festivals such as the World Choir Games. It will continue to organize Shenzhen (International) Science Film Week, Shenzhen Belt & Road International Music Festival, and Shenzhen International Photography Exhibition.

The city will encourage original cultural and art works. It hopes to encourage local companies to produce films with box office revenues surpassing 100 million yuan, create a song with national influence, compose a piece of quality symphonic work, create a popular show that tours at home and abroad, produce a TV entertainment show that ranks among the Top 5 in China and produce at least one quality TV series. The city will further the reform in local art performance companies, planning to set up an opera house and a drama theater. It will also encourage private companies to join the performance industry.

It will push forward the establishment of Shenzhen Internet authors' association to support the creation of online dramas, music, comics and animation.

The city will build a batch of key cultural facilities, some of which can be new landmarks. It will build a contemporary art and urban planning museum and a cultural and art center besides upgrading the existing venues. The aim is to gradually form two to three modern and international culture-themed blocks.

The city will offer more digital services in culture-related areas. For instance, free Wi-Fi will cover all cultural venues; museums, cultural centers, art galleries, libraries and book cities will have their collections accessible online. Social media and apps will be used more at public cultural institutions to make it more convenient for residents to use their services. It will push forward the building of a city-level big-data platform where people can get one-stop, interactive and tailor-made services of public cultural resources. The city will issue up to half a million "Cultural Shenzhen" bankcards which will offer discounts for culture-related expenses.

It will launch a "key project-driven" strategy to upgrade the cultural sectors. The city government will join forces with district governments to support one project of each district, including the international art exhibition center, Dafen Oil Painting Base, Fantawild Cultural Innovation Park, Huayi Brothers Cultural Town and Shenzhen movie cultural and creative park.

The city will improve national-level industry service platforms, focusing on streamlining the existing resources in cultural industries. It will push the Shenzhen Cultural Exchange to launch a news and publishing platform and a registering and trading platform for film and video copyrights. The city aims to build a Cultural Silicon Valley to set up a good example of combining culture with high-tech. It will build a Belt and Road service platform and a cultural foreign trade service platform. It will also build a Guangdong Provincial Digital Publishing Base in the city, which will help form a digital publishing industrial chain. It will push for the birth of a culture bank in Qianhai, build a national-level culture-in-association-with-finance pilot zone, and push for the China Cultural Industrial Investment Fund to invest in at least three cultural and creative companies.


With 48 cultural and creative industrial parks and 20 cultural and creative industrial bases, Shenzhen has formed a clustered cultural and creative industry. There are 13 State-level model bases for the cultural industry, covering areas including creative design, cultural software, animation and games, new media, cultural information services, intangible cultural heritage, high-end arts and crafts, digital publishing, cultural tourism, high-end printing, and industrial education and training.


Shenzhen is where China's modern graphic design industry was born. Local industrial design and indoor design take a large percentage of the national market. Animation and gaming industries, cultural software services, Internet information services, digital TV and digital audio industries have gained momentum in growth. Shenzhen is home to China's largest high-end printing industry, taking 60% of the national market.


Cosponsored by the Guangdong Provincial Government, Shenzhen Municipal Government and State institutions, the annual China (Shenzhen) International Cultural Industries Fair (ICIF) is certified by the UFI. The only State-level cultural expo in China, it is held in Shenzhen each May.


Shenzhen was accepted as a member of the Creative Cities Network by UNESCO on Nov. 19, 2008, and named a UNESCO City of Design, becoming the first Chinese city to win the honor. It was the sixth city in the world to earn the title.


Shenzhen Design Week is a grand international design event, which is hosted by the Shenzhen Municipal Government, organized by the Publicity Department of the Shenzhen Municipal Committee of the CPC and Shenzhen City of Design Promotion Office, supported by UNESCO Creative Cities Network and the city's various design associations, institutions, colleges and district governments.

It kicks off each spring with the slogan of "Design Creates Future," aiming to reflect the city's attitude towards design.

The first Shenzhen Design Week was held from April 21 to 28, 2017. Themed "Design for the Future," a series of events were held in all districts in Shenzhen. Highlighted events included exhibitions, design fairs and design tours.


In recent years, Shenzhen designers have enhanced the communication and cooperation with foreign designers. In 2016, Shenshen design has appeared for over 10 times at various international design events and has become a new emerging force in the international design arena.


The Shenzhen government has adopted stringent protection of intellectual property rights as a leading development strategy to improve the city's investment environment and maintain market order. Everyone living in the city, including foreigners, has the same protection under domestic and international laws.


Shenzhen Culture Assets and Equity Exchange was established in 2009. The Chinese Cultural Industry Investment Fund has Shenzhen as its second-largest shareholder. Shenzhen has become one of the most important centers for the exchange of culture assets and equity exchange as well as investment and financing services in China.


In December 2013, Shenzhen Creative Information Hub built the national International Cultural Trade Base and made it the third base that was granted by the Ministry of Culture after Beijing and Shanghai and the first of its kind in South China. The base will utilize State preferential policies, international trade channels and international communication platforms to create a cultural trade service chain highly integrated with cultural and creative industries.


Located in Buji Subdistrict, Longgang District, the 4-square-kilometer village is the world's largest mass producer of oil paintings, essentially an art factory. Originally conceived by Hong Kong businessman Huang Jiang, who began production with a dozen artists in 1989, the village has grown in leaps and bounds over the past 20 years. About 15,000 artists and craftsmen work in more than 40 factories and 800 studios and workshops.


Located in Bao'an District, the base perfectly combines modern printmaking with traditional Hakka buildings. It has become a State-level model base with a sound environment and good economic returns.

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