Exciting opportunities in the Chinese film industry are now beyond the usual destination, Beijing.

As the country’s capital, Beijing used to be the ultimate city for foreign delegations to visit to seek collaboration opportunities. This is not the case anymore. There are many rising film companies from other areas that began to be involved in both production and distribution. The capitals invested in film businesses are increasingly becoming more shared, diverse and less Beijing-centric within the country.

For example, PEGASUS (2019) which was N0.7 in the country’s box-office last year, mainly presented by companies from Shanghai. The main production companies included Shanghai Tingdong Film (the company founder is also the film’s director Han Han), Shanghai Bona, Tianjin Maoyan and Shanghai Guomai.

Multiple awards winning film BETTER DAYS (2019) was presented by a variety of companies across the country, which included Henan Film Group (Henan Province), China Wit Media (Shenzhen), Xiron Entertainment (Tianjin) and We Pictures (Beijing & Hong Kong, founded by HK director Peter Chan).

On May 15, the National Radio and Television Administration announced a list of films which their scripts were given an official permission to begin production. Since the beginning of 2020, 185 films in total applied for a production permission. Among all, there are 158 titles focusing on a modern theme (post-1949, 85.41% of the total); 27 titles focusing on a historical theme (pre-1949, 14.59%); 18 animation titles, 8 documentary, 2 educational films and 5 co-productions.

If we look at where these applications were filed officially (normally it depends on the main production company’s registered location), then we know that the development of China’s film industry has been spreading across the county and slowly moving away from the capital.

Figure 1. A list of films approved for production and registration location
  • Anhui Province: 2 productions
  • Beijing: 44
  • Fujian Province: 17
  • Gansu Province: 2
  • Guangdong Province: 10
  • Guangxi Autonomous Region: 1
  • Guizhou Province: 4
  • Hainan Province: 1
  • Hebei Province: 10
  • Henan Province: 15
  • Hubei Province: 3
  • Hunan Province: 3
  • Jiangsu Province: 4
  • Jiangxi Province: 2
  • Shandong Province: 6
  • Shanxi Province: 3
  • Shanxi Province: 14
  • Shanghai: 16
  • Tianjin: 3
  • Tibet Autonomous Region: 1
  • Yunnan Province: 5
  • Zhejiang Province: 5


The traffic around Beijing has always been busy and it remains the main target for Hollywood studios. Companies from other regions and areas would certainly appreciate opportunities in international collaboration more than the capital, in particular for a project that is on a lower scale and with a more focused expectation.