In February 2021 China’s cinemas sold more ticket than the USA—a result of the COVID-19 epidemic, but also of a population more and more eager to see quality movies on the big screen. Yet for every movie that comes to the silver screen, several others are released over the internet at the same time. Called e-movies, or wǎngdà (网大), they became a massive pop-culture phenomenon in China with a production peak of over 2,200 films in 2017. 

How did this industry evolve over the last decade, and what does it say about the growth of Chinese cinema? 

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