China's sci-fi industry recorded an output value of over 14 billion yuan (about 2 billion U.S. dollars) in 2017, a figure that is almost certain to be surpassed in 2018, according to a report made public on Friday.
The report, issued by the Shenzhen-based Southern University of Science and Technology (SUSTech), said that in the first half of 2018, the industry achieved nearly 10 billion yuan in output value, suggesting the industry has moved from "stable growth" in 2017 to "fast growth" this year.
Released at the ongoing third China Science Fiction Conference which kicked off Friday, the report said the 14-billion-yuan output in 2017 was already a remarkable rise from 10 billion yuan in 2016, but the growth was mainly fueled by the box office boom of imported sci-fi films. In 2018, however, domestic products made a greater comeback.
Specifically, sci-fi movies in China raked in 12.96 billion yuan in 2017 at the box office, including 1.3 billion yuan from domestic works. By comparison, in the first half of 2018, China-made movies contributed 890 million yuan to the total sci-fi box office of 9.5 billion yuan, said Wu Yan, professor with SUSTech and sci-fi writer, while announcing the findings of the report.
The Chinese market of sci-fi reading approached 900 million yuan in the first six months of 2018, nearing the yearly total of 970 million yuan in 2017, according to the report.
Wu hailed the increasing number of published works and their higher quality. Apart from classic themes like time traveling and brain transplants, Chinese imaginations are also being drawn to the country's current tech developments, including virtual reality and the Internet of Things, he said.
The professor also said sci-fi is finding its way into China's education by entering textbooks and college entrance exam papers, suggesting a bright future for the development of "sci-fi education" as a new cause or industry.