With more than 10,000 animation studios, employing more than 200,000 people, China is one of the largest producers of animation in the world. Thanks in part to the Chinese government, which has been subsidizing and investing in the animation industry, along with the explosive growth of internet-based new media distribution channels, total output value of China’s animation industry exceeded RMB100 billion (over $14.5 billion US) in 2014, up 14.84% from 2013.
In a 2016 Variety article, Eric Beckman of GKids (a New York-based distributor of animation) said, “China is making an insane number of movies, and their animation industry is taking off like a rocket.” According to PR Newswire/Reportlinker, a total of 45 animated movies were released in Chinese mainland theaters in 2014 alone, generating total box office earnings of nearly RMB3 billion (over $436 million US).
Some of the country’s most recent highest grossing animated movies include King Fu Panda 3—a DreamWorks Animation and Oriental DreamWorks production (2016), Big Fish & Begonia (2016), Monkey King: Hero is Back (2015), Boonie Bears: Mystical Winter (2015), and Mission Incredible: Adventures on the Dragon’s Trail (2012). Besides earning close to an estimated $2 billion at the box office, the Kung Fu Panda series, (including KFP 3), has earned multiple Academy Award nominations as well as dozens of other awards ranging from Annie’s to Producer Guild Awards (PGA).
With so much growth in China’s animation industry, top-rated animation programs are abundant (China now has more than 2,400 schools providing animation training) and internships are plentiful. China Academy of Art, Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA), Sichuan University, Nanjing University of the Arts, and Communication University of China (CUC) are just a few of the country’s top schools for animation and a quick online search shows that literally hundreds of animation internships are available through schools across the country and abroad. And many of these internships are paid.
While internship opportunities are available across China, a higher concentration of animation studios can be found in cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Shenzhen, and Guangzhou, to name a few. Below are just a few popular China animation studios:
- Alpha Group Company, Guangzhou (est. 1993)
- Base FX, Beijing, Wuxi and Xiamen, China, (est. 2006)
- Crystal CG, Beijing (est. 1995)
- Green Leaf Film Studios (a Division of IDF Global), Chengdu (est. 2009)
- Mili Pictures Worldwide, Shanghai (est. 2012)
- Oriental DreamWorks, Shanghai (joint venture created by DreamWorks Animation SKG and China Media Capital), Shanghai (est. 2012)
- Shanghai Animation Film Studio (SAFS), Shanghai (est. 1957)
- Shanghai Hippo Animation, Shanghai (est. 2003)
- Vasoon Animation, Beijing (est. 1992)
- Wolf Smoke Animation Studio, Shanghai (est. 2006)
- Xing Xing Digital Corp, Beijing (est. 2004)
To secure an internship at these studios or any others in China, you can get the ball rolling by checking with the program coordinator or the study abroad office at your school. While doing research on your own is always a good thing, your program coordinator and the study abroad office are experienced with helping match students with the right overseas company. They will also have access to a variety of resources and can provide plenty of advice about financing your trip, accommodations, local customs, and requirements.
Below is a list of just a few places to look for animation internships in China, followed by Visa requirements. At the time this article was published, all information was accurate and the sources listed published ads for both paid and unpaid internships.
MCO China Internships
8 Xindong Road
Chaoyang, Beijing, 100027 PRC
Phone US: (+1) 323.375.2600
Phone Beijing: (+86) 1.851.320.2733
Internship Network Asia
Wuyuan Lu 76, House 16, 2nd floor
Phone: 0086 21 3428 0099
2850 McClelland Dr.
Fort Collins CO 80525 U.S.A.
Visa Requirements Provided by Internships Abroad
Doing an internship in China will require you to have a valid visa. You can apply for a visa at the Chinese embassy. Applying for a China visa takes around four days. In case this is not fast enough for you, then it is possible to have the process take two days for an extra 20 euros. The visa cannot be obtained more than 50 days in advance of your planned arrival. When you apply for a visa, you will need the following documents:
- A valid passport, the passport should be valid for another 6 months after you finish your internship.
- A good passport photograph
- The application form from the website
- An invitation from your internship company. Abroad Internships will take care of this.
- A letter from the Ministry of Education of China.
- Visa costs, which are around 30 to 45 euros per visa.
- If you plan on staying for over six months, then you are also required to do an AIDS test.
If you would like more information about China visa requirements, take a look at the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China website for your country (i.e. Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in the United Kingdom of Great Britain, Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in the United States of America, etc.) or contact Internships Abroad here.
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