Communication, Culture, and Governance in Asia | “I’d Rather Be the Ferryman in the Gold Rush”: The Television Drama Production Industry in Post-2008 China

Luzhou Li


This article examines the post-financial-crisis development of Chinese television (especially the television drama production sector) by focusing on the changing industrial structure and how industry professionals have negotiated careers and exploited opportunities within this changing sector. It begins with a brief history of Chinese television, focusing on its development within the context of “cultural system reform” in the 2000s. It then discusses the massive capitalization of television drama production around 2010 as domestic private equity funds flooded into the field. The article concludes with a description of how two different generations of television industry professionals with unique histories made their careers in an ever-changing industrial terrain.


television drama, decentralization, financialization, market subjectivity, China

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