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China produces 81,000 minutes of cartoons in 2006 2006-12-30 20:18:36

    BEIJING, Dec. 30 (Xinhua) -- China's cartoon industry produced more than 81,000 minutes of animation this year, almost double last year's 42,700 minutes, said an official with the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT) at a meeting to mark the 80th anniversary of China's cartoon production.

    The country produced more than 50,000 minutes of cartoons from January to August this year, topping last year's total output, not to mention the country's aggregate output of cartoons from 1993 to 2003.

    China has exported 65,100 minutes of cartoons to 17 countries and regions in recent years, said Zhao Shi, deputy director of SARFT.

    He said that a series of measures have been taken to increase the output of domestic cartoons.

    With private capital able to play a role in the animation industry since 2005, 15 national animation bases have been set up, including the Shanghai Animation Film Studio, the Sunchime Cartoon Group and China Film Group Corporation.

    About 5,473 animation studios had been founded in China by Oct.2006, said the official.

    The SARFT has approved cartoon channels on Beijing, Shanghai and Hunan TV stations since 2004, and more than 30 kids' channels.

    Animation departments have been established in 447 universities and 1,230 universities offer professional training for cartoonists, Zhao said.

    "Some 64,000 students majoring in animation have graduated from universities and 466,000 were studying in colleges at the end of 2005," he said.

    In August, the SARFT banned foreign cartoons from prime time (5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.) television programs from Sept. 1.

    The campaign of promoting domestic cartoons began in 2004, when the government told broadcasters that Chinese cartoons had to account for at least 60 percent of cartoons shown.

    Foreign cartoons, especially from Japan, are popular with China's 250 million children, and domestic animation studios are struggling to compete with a flood of imports.

    Analysts say that Chinese cartoons need to be more original with better story lines.

    China made its first ever 12-minute cartoon in 1926.

Editor: Yangtze Yan
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