The rise of Chinese series has been meteoric. Though there have been Chinese series dubbed into other languages, the rise of series with gripping stories and great production has helped garner international attention.
Catering to the rising global demand for series, China has undertaken government-funded projects to translate series into other languages like English, Arabic, and French among the various languages, and other initiatives have been taken to promote series abroad.
Working of Chinese series for international audiences
Chinese series is a hit among the international audience because they cater to the global audience’s expectations without compromising the quality of the series. A Chinese series runs up to 40 episodes, while a European or US series ends within 12 episodes. China International Television Corporation or CITVC cut down the 50-episode series The Legend of Bruce Lee to 30 episodes for the international market to much success. It may not have met with the same success had it released all 50 episodes. The adaptability of content according to the audience is a factor why the international audience watches series.
Chinese are among those who are subject to stereotypes from the Western audience. Chinese series, apart from providing entertainment, help clear stereotypes among the international audience. That the global audience can identify with the characters in the series and help clear misconceptions. Moreover, international viewers can compensate for the lack of or availability of the subtitles as they find the emotions and visuals sufficient to convey the meaning.
The success story of the Chinese series
Over 200 countries are recipients of Chinese video content, including Chinese series, and Chinese TV content makes up to 60% of all the exported TV content in the world. The Chinese TV industry, of which series is a part, is estimated to cross $400 million. The Chinese series Revelation of Life, which revolves around a love story set in a big city, ranked on top of the TV ratings in Mongolia after being translated into Mongolian. The hugely popular series in China Ode of Joy, which reflects the joy and sorrow of Chinese people, will be translated and broadcast in Portugal after being translated into Portuguese.
Feather Flies to the Sky, which tells the story of Chinese entrepreneurs, was the first film from China translated into Filipino and was aired in a local TV station in the Philippines. The series was able to gain an average of 15 percent of the total viewership. Other series like The Young Doctor and Entrepreneurial Age have also met with success in the Filipino market. Various series episodes like Legend of Entrepreneurship have been translated into Spanish and broadcast on SERTV, Panama’s national broadcaster.
The series A Love So Beautiful was broadcast on ABS-CBN, the Philippines’ most famous television station, and could garner an audience share of 15.9 percent. Seeing the show’s popularity, ABS-CBN cooperated with Huace Media, the producer of A Love So Beautiful, and other Chinese TV companies.
China sells the rights to increase the popularity of their series. Shanghai Limnon Pictures owns the copyright of the series Huyao for broadcast in countries like Singapore, Vietnam, and Malaysia.