The richest man in China, Jack Ma, claimed that China is on its way toward becoming the most significant market for the film industry during his keynote speech at the inaugural WSJ.D Live Conference on Monday night. With the world’s largest population and a booming middle class, China’s influence as a market is already starting to be felt in Hollywood.
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Ma, who founded Alibaba Group, touted his company as “the biggest entertainment company in the world,” thanks to the changing demands of its consumers, according to The Wall-Street Journal. What started as an online retail outlet has become more known as a destination for people seeking entertainment.
That’s something Amazon is exploring as it continues to expand its own entertainment offerings through Amazon Prime Instant Video.
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Ma explained that he came to California because he wanted to both learn from the folks who make the films his country is devouring, and also teach them about the importance of his nation in the future of their business.
In doing so, he talked about some of the differences between Chinese films and American films, like how we create and reward our heroes; apparently all heroes die in China. It’s hard to imagine America embracing that practice though, as it makes sequels and franchises very difficult.
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Additional keynote speakers at the Wall Street Journal’s international technology conference held at Laguna Beach included former Microsoft executive Steve Ballmer, Apple CEO Tim Cook and director Steven Spielberg.