Source：ChinaDaily | Date：2020-09-11
A relic restorer demonstrates his craft at the cultural services exhibition area of the 2020 China International Fair for Trade in Services in Beijing. [Photo/Xinhua]
A promotional video, in which African people are watching Chinese films and TV series with great interest, caught the attention of spectators at the cultural services exhibition area of the 2020 China International Fair for Trade in Services, which concluded on Wednesday.
Both the digital television and the programs they are seen enjoying in the video were made by StarTimes Group, a Beijing-based media company attending this year's fair.
Since exploring the African market in 2002, the company has expanded its investment in digital TV in 37 countries on the continent, including Rwanda, Nigeria and Kenya.
Guo Ziqi, vice-president of the group, says that with the rapid development of digitization in Africa, there is a greater demand for quality Chinese movies, TV dramas and programs.
"Only when people understand what these works from China are saying will they want to watch them, and thus be willing to understand the country's culture. So, well-dubbed films and TV dramas are the key to telling Chinese stories and spreading the voice of China," says Guo.
In recent years, a total of 503 films and 276 TV series from China, as well as a large number of documentaries and cartoons, have been dubbed into more than 10 foreign languages, including English, French and Portuguese, in the translation and dubbing center set up by StarTimes Group in Beijing.
Most foreign staffers with the company come from Africa.
"Kids in my hometown love watching Chinese kung fu movies so much that even the smallest TV set has a crowd around it," says Alex Herbert Shogotera, from Tanzania, who voices a character in the dubbed version of the Chinese martial arts movie Ip Man produced by the center.
Joelle Zita Bolabola, a voice actress and TV presenter from Gabon, has studied and lived in China for years. She says she has introduced Chinese food to people in her hometown through programs produced by StarTimes.
The popularity of Chinese dramas in Africa could not be achieved without the large exhibition and trading platform provided by the CIFTIS for Chinese and foreign enterprises and institutions.
Demonstrations of Chinese traditional art forms draw a big crowd at the 2020 China International Fair for Trade in Services in Beijing. [Photo/Xinhua]
Wang Libin, chairman of Beijing Huayun-Shangde International Cultural Exchange Co Ltd, says the company has seen fruitful results by taking an active part in the CIFTIS every year.
A 30-minute daily TV program produced by the company, which presents the lifestyles of ordinary Chinese people, has been broadcast in Germany and reached around 20 million viewers, according to Wang.
In addition, the company founded the Golden Tree International Documentary Film Festival, a vehicle to promote a greater understanding of China among European people, in Frankfurt, Germany, in 2016. Since then, the festival has attracted 14,469 films from 135 countries and regions, and more than 1,000 international film and television agencies. Dozens of outstanding Chinese documentaries that have appeared there have been purchased by overseas broadcasting organizations.
Statistics show that more than 600 cultural enterprises and institutions participated in the CIFTIS this year, including nine of the world's top 500 enterprises and more than 100 industry leaders. Chinese-based embassies of several countries involved in the Belt and Road Initiative, such as Greece, Belgium, Ethiopia and Pakistan, also attended the event and paid close attention to the new trends in China's cultural trade.
China's service exports grew by 3.3 percent year-on-year in July, according to data from the Ministry of Commerce. The export of personal culture and entertainment services grew by nearly 66 percent.
"At this year's fair, we set up a booth to show the operation of our projects in Africa, hoping to develop more new service-trade business by exchanging ideas with people from all walks of life, and provide foreign visitors with the opportunity to learn about and love China," says Guo.