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OCT Group takes the spotlight at Shenzhen cultural industries fair
Last Updated(Beijing Time):2012-05-22 07:48

The opening ceremony of OCT Myrules World, a "career experience park" for children. Ouyang Yong / For China Daily

As a national leader in cultural and creative industries, Overseas Chinese Town Group showcased its latest achievements during the China International Cultural Industries Fair that opened in Shenzhen on May 18.

The State-owned cultural industry giant has been a participant and supporter of the annual fair since the first CICIF in 2004. This year the company highlighted the high-tech sector, theme hotels and a newly opened child education and development park.

The fair is seen as a stage "to show OCT's concept that innovation changes life", said Ren Kelei, chairman of the company.

Three of the group's projects served as venues for the four-day event that offered holiday recreation, an eco-friendly lifestyle and contemporary art.

The group generated more than 6 billion yuan ($948.6 million) last year from its cultural industry sector. It has been honored as among the top 30 Chinese companies in the cultural industry for three consecutive years.

"If we ask for economic value from culture, we must find a proper carrier and a management model that agrees with the economic rules," noted Zheng Fan, vice-chairman and chief cultural officer of the company.

One of the most successful business models for OCT Group has been "culture plus tourism". The company is now operating 13 large cultural and tourism sites across the nation. The number is expected to reach 20 by 2015 and attract 30 million tourists a year, according to Zheng.

Revenue generated by the group's cultural industry sector is projected to hit 10 billion yuan by that time.

"We believe that culture not only creates economic value, but more importantly, leads us toward the right view of social values," said Zheng. "If a company wants to do something in the cultural industry, it has to develop its own culture."

New projects

After an investment of about 200 million yuan and two years of effort, the OCT Wetland Park began operation in Shenzhen on May 15 as the nation's only mangrove wetland in the heart of urban city.

The park is currently open to only universities and research organizations as an observation, research and teaching center due to the ecological vulnerability of the wetland.

Myrules World, a "career experience park" for children aged between three and 15, opened on the same day. The indoor park covering 5,000 square meters is designed as a virtual city providing some 50 "jobs" for children such as policemen, firefighters, cooks, journalists and flight attendants.

An evaluation system employed for the first time nationwide uses experts to grade the performance of children involved in games based on the US developmental psychologist Howard Gardner's theory of multiple intelligences, which is then used to give advice to parents.

Also, a virtual money system is used in the park. Children can earn money by "working" a certain job to buy things or save it in a virtual bank and withdraw it during future visits.

Source:China Daily 
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