Shijingshan will update its image as a heavy industrial and polluted district by opening one quarter of space occupied by Shougang Group, or Capital Iron and Steel Group, to cultural and creative industries, according to top local official.
"After the 8.56 sq km giant group moves out and is relocated in neighboring Hebei province by late next year, a 2-sq-km space will be used to develop animation, online games and other creative and cultural industries," said Zhou Maofei, head of Shijingshan government.
Speaking at an International Forum of China Cultural and Creative Industry Development on Thursday, Zhou said that Shijingshan continues to take shape as an emerging center of the animation and online gaming industries.
Last month a project to build an 83-hectare China Animation and Game City was launched in the decommissioned Shougang Group factory buildings to house the country's thriving cartoon and online game companies.
Currently there are more than 2,200 such companies in the district, and all of the top 10 Chinese online gaming companies have chosen to base their headquarters or branch offices in Shijingshan, Zhou said.
He added they not only help improve the environment and eliminate pollution but also bring in considerable tax revenue.
"Changyou, for example, the promising Chinese online game company, contributes one tenth of the tax we used to get from Shougang. We wish more companies like this could find bases in our district. Plus, they are also eco-friendly and knowledge-intensive," Zhou added.
Zhou said his 10-year goal is to make Shijingshan become known as CRD, or Capital Recreational District
However, Jin Yuanpu, a professor of the Renmin University of China, believes the area's development may see difficulties.
"It is a district that was once insignificant in the cultural and creative industry, and convincing enterprises to come might be a big issue," said Jin, who is also the executive director of the university's cultural and creative industry center.
Zhou said the government is offering to support interested companies by allocating a 100 million-yuan fund to encourage development and support.
"The cultural and creative industry has become one of the major driving forces for Beijing's economy," Cai Fuchao, vice mayor of Beijing municipal government, said.