Headlines from China: Sci-fi Fan Barack Obama Meets Chinese Novelist Liu Cixin in Beijing 

photo: Weibo.

Sci-fi Fan Barack Obama Meets Chinese Novelist Liu Cixin in Beijing 

At the recent Global Education Summit in Beijing, former U.S. President Barack Obama met Chinese sci-fi writer Liu Cixin whose science fiction novel ‘The Three-Body Problem’ reportedly influenced Obama’s presidency. At the meeting, Obama took the opportunity to ask Liu for his next book and received an autographed ‘The Wandering Earth,’ a collection of Liu Cixin’s short fiction. Liu told Obama that a movie adaptation of ‘The Wandering Earth’ is in the making, and is expected to be released in 2018. Read more on Mtime

Chinese Animated Short ‘Life Smartphone’ Advancing in Oscar Race

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science has just announced the ten animated short films that have advanced in the voting process for the 90th Academy Awards. Chinese animated short ‘Life Smartphone,’ which is directed by Xie Chenglin, a student from China’s Central Academy of Art, appears on the list. The ten films are selected from sixty three  submissions, and will compete for the five nomination slots, which will be announced alongside all other Oscar nominees in January, 2018. Read more on Mtime 

Chinese Real Estate Giant Vanke Enters Entertainment Sector 

Kunshan Pinmingfu Enterprise Management Co., a subsidiary of Chinese real estate developer Vanke, will invest 1.05 billion yuan ($158.6 million) in a fund managed by China Media Capital (CMC), according to an official statement from Vanke. The total subscription amount of the fund, which focuses on domestic media, entertainment, sports, and Film & TV industry projects, is  7.52 billion yuan ($1.14 billion). Over the past a few years, it has become increasingly common in China that top real estate developers tap into the entertainment sector. Precedents include Wanda investing in cinema chains and production studios, Evergrande Group investing in cinema chains, and Sunac China investing in Le Vision Pictures. Read more on Ent Group

Top 100 Chinese Film & TV Companies in 2017

Recently, WeChat media account “yulechanye” released a list of 2017 top 100 Chinese Film & TV Companies based on criteria such as market value, level of influence, and profitability, etc. Top 5 on the list are Wanda Pictures, China Film Co., Alibaba Pictures, Huayi Brothers Media, and Beijing Enlight Media. According to “yulechanye,” although online publishers and streaming platforms, such as China Literature, Youku, and iQIYI, are making big waves, their profitability is still relatively low. Animation studios have great potential for their capability of developing and monetizing IPs. In addition, distribution firms and cinema operators face less risk compared to film production companies. Read more on yulechanye