Field notes

Sci-fi set to be China's next big export

More people are reading Chinese authors' take on what the future holds as the Asian giant grows into a technological powerhouse

BEIJING • In the 2013 space movie Gravity, an astronaut played by Sandra Bullock has only one chance of returning home from low Earth orbit after a catastrophic accident - in a Chinese spacecraft.

Floating past ping-pong bats, an ink wash painting and other cultural signifiers, she stares in frustration at a control panel labelled with Chinese characters, exclaiming in Spanish, "No hablo Chino" (I don't speak Mandarin), as a Buddha statue smiles benevolently.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 13, 2019, with the headline 'Sci-fi set to be China's next big export'. Print Edition | Subscribe