China's tech giants are locked in a pop culture arms race for cartoons with a local flavor. Companies like Ten Cent and NetEase want characters to help sell everything from comics to video games, and they're turning to top cartoonists like Jung Hung Chung to fight this battle. When Jung was growing up in the 90s, homegrown cartoons weren't popular.
The big craze was Japanese anime. Now tech money is fueling a new wave of Chinese animation, and Jeong is at the forefront.>>
> When I started I was copying Japanese cartoons, but slowly I got my own style. I had to spend a lot of time getting to understand the Chinese market and what comic readers here want.
Companies want to figure out the same thing. The Chinese market for animation is set to hit $34 billion in two years. So as Reuters' Adam Jordan explains, they're trying any edge to hook in Chinese fans.>> We spoke to NetEase and Hung Jo here, and one of the things that they talked about was trying to incorporate various Chinese elements into the cartoons and animation.
Basically about things like Chinese brushwork, somebody making the actual pictures themselves look more Chinese. It's about Chinese stories and incorporating those in themes into the story to make them resonate more with the viewers. They also spent said it could use their sort of big online platforms and the feed that they got from their sort of millions of users.
And use that to sort of analyze what worked and what didn't and feed that back to the animation artists themselves.>> And it's not only the tech firms. Beijing also wants Chinese cartoons to catch up.>> They brought in various things in trying to support the domestic industry.
There are certain peak hours on TV when you can't show imported cartoons and only show domestic. Which has really helped the domestic market.>> In the rush to create a Chinese Mikey Mouse or Ironman, NetEase has even teamed up with Marvel to try Chinese style superheros. Issue one of the series Warriors of Three Sovereigns debuted last month.