A Look at the Chinese Animation Industry

ASIA–Although the Chinese animation industry began relatively late compared to countries like the U.S. and Japan, the industry has seen steady growth since 2015 and is expected to reach more than $34.11 billion* by 2021, according to Reportlinker’s “Global and China Animation Industry Report 2017-2021.”

April 6, 2018

A Look at the Chinese Animation Industry

Chinese animation made up 8 percent of the total worldwide in 2016 and is expected to grow.


In 2016, China’s animation output value reached $19.28 billion, up 15 percent year-on-year, with a global share of roughly 8 percent. The industry is expected to increase another $2.97 billion in 2017 to $22.25 billion.

Comparatively, in 2016 the global animation industry recorded a total output value of nearly $220 billion, of which the U.S. made the greatest contribution and claimed roughly 38 percent of the market share.

Japan also claimed approximately 10 percent of the market share; however, many animation productions (roughly 60 percent) come from Japan.

China is historically a difficult market for global entertainment brands, only allowing release of a select number of international films

and TV series every year. Increased creation of in-country content could make this market even harder for studios to penetrate, or on the flip side, it could make the country more open to content exchanges.

For a deeper look at content distribution and the entertainment industry in China, check out the LicenseTV series

“Understanding China Part 3: The Media Landscape.”

Other highlights from the

China Animation Report


  • In 2016, China approved 182 animated films, completed 60 and released 39, with cumulative box office returns reaching $341 million, up 15.2 percent year-on-year and accounting for 34.1 percent of China’s animation film market revenue.

    • 15 anime startups (which are mainly companies that integrate animation production, IP derivatization, etc.) obtained financing.

      • Chinese enterprises have established increasing cooperation with foreign peers. For example, in 2016, Oriental DreamWorks and DreamWorks Animation created

        Kung Fu Panda 3

        , and in 2017, Sina Comic and France-based Delitoon co-published

        Go Away Mr. Tumour


        *Conversions are based on exchange rates as of Friday, July 28.

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