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February 27, 2020

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Shanghai to increase support for cultural industry

SHANGHAI is to increase support for small and medium-scale cultural industry companies, including cinemas and travel agencies, in preparation for a quick market recovery when the novel coronavirus epidemic is over.

All art and cultural performances and activities, including cinema, have been suspended in Shanghai since the Spring Festival due to the outbreak.

The city government has yet to set a date for their resumption, though preferential policies and subsidies are already in place.

“The cultural industry is one of the most affected industries amid the epidemic,” said Wang Yayuan, deputy director of the CPC Shanghai Committee’s publicity office. “The government is paying close attention to small and medium-scale enterprises, helping them to cope with difficulties in maintaining their operations.”

Wang said Shanghai’s cinemas will receive designated subsidies from both the city and central government to cover their losses during the epidemic. All subsidies will arrive in the first half of the year. There are also preferential policies in relation to tax, rent and social security.

“From the management side, film resources will be enriched to help revive the market when cinemas resume operation,” said Wang.

He said the subsidies will also benefit companies involved in art and cultural performances, exhibitions, travel and eSports.

“We encourage financial institutions to support cultural companies in the form of loans and other financial services,” he added.

The outbreak also led to the cancellation of over 400 eSport competitions in Shanghai, but the city is still making full preparations for the 2020 League of Legends World Championship Finals, Wang said, adding that some major competition organizers and eSport enterprises will receive subsidies.

“Shanghai government encourages eSports enterprises to hold their offline games in an online way. For those companies that have been severely affected by the epidemic, local authorities will provide funding in priority,” Wang announced.

As for travel agencies whose businesses were badly hit by the virus, the city government has been taking measures to ease their burden.

Jin Lei, deputy director of the Shanghai Administration of Culture and Tourism, said the authority had returned 80 percent of operation deposits the city’s tourism companies had handed in.

By Tuesday, 671 travel agencies have received their deposit, totaling 282 million yuan. Another 730 travel agencies will benefit under the policy.


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