China is now the world's second-highest spender on television shows after the U.S., with its annual expenditure hitting $10.9 billion in 2017.
It beat the U.K., with a spend of $10 billion, into second place, according to a report by analyst IHS Markit. Both countries' program spend is dwarfed by the U.S., which spent $58.3 billion on content.
The Chinese figure includes broadcast or linear TV as well as online services including Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent. Online platforms spent $4.5 billion on programing in 2017 and IHS Markit expects this to rise in 2018, beating the $6.4 billion linear TV stations spent on programming.
Baidu is the majority owner of Chinese platform iQiyi, which had 60 million subscribers at the end of February and went public on Nasdaq in March. Netflix, which had 130 million subscribers at the end of June, has provided some of its content to iQiyi so it can enter the Chinese market. Streaming services are now the main way younger audiences watch TV in the U.S., with 61 percent of 18 to 29-year-olds saying they use them, according to Pew Research.