China’s internet copyright industry was worth 636.5 billion yuan ($101 billion) in 2017, a 27 percent increase from 2016, as new industrial forms emerge.
The finding, which relates to online videos, games and apps, comes from a report released on April 23 by the Internet Copyright Industry Research Center ahead of World Intellectual Property Day, which falls on April 26.
The internet copyright industry contributed 0.77 to China’s GDP last year, according to the report. The value has tripled since 2013.
“The vitality of the internet copyright industry and its importance to the national economy have experienced rapid and steady growth,” said Zhang Qinkun, secretary-general of the center, which was set up in 2016 by the National Copyright Administration in cooperation with technology giant Tencent.
China’s internet copyright industry developed in diverse fields in 2017, such as short videos and livestreaming, but the major contributions are still from online news portals and online games, which accounted for 73 percent of the total value.
The report highlighted that nearly half the value is contributed by paid services－users’ paid service was worth about 318.4 billion yuan.
“It shows China’s internet copyright industry has said farewell to the old formula that only values traffic, and embraces a new era that values content,” Zhang said. “It is a milestone in China’s internet copyright industry. Without the State’s endorsement, it wouldn’t happen.”
In the past two years, livestreaming and short videos have become shooting stars of growth, the report said.
The development of virtual reality and augmented reality is at the beginning, but Zhang said the limited development of the facilities have restrained the development of VR and AR.
When the VR and AR technologies adapt to cheaper mobile phones, they will embrace a rocketing growth, he said.
“Although China’s internet copyright industry has continued to grow rapidly, it also faces a challenge of traffic bonus decay,” the report said.
In 2017, the average time people spent daily on the mobile internet grew by only 8.7 minutes, and that is not expected to grow much further, according to the report.
“The focus needs to be on improving the quality of the content to attract users,” Zhang said, adding that the industry is in urgent need of innovating its business model and developing a paid-users market－all dependent on the protection of valuable content and the order of healthy competition.
China has built an intellectual property system with diverse fields and conforms to international norms, said Yu Cike, director of copyright management for the National Copyright Administration, adding that China also enhances international communication.
“It (awareness of copyright protection) has developed from hardly known 40 years ago to well-known now,” he said.