Chinese documentaries earned $242 million last year, up from $64 million in 2009, according to a study by Beijing Normal University reported by the state-run Xinhua news agency on Monday. The report, which apparently referred to documentaries produced both for theatrical and television viewing, said that The Rising popularity of the films has boosted interest in social investment for the industry. The Xinhua report did not describe the nature of such investment, but in capitalist economies social investment funds generally support the incubation of non-profit, culturally beneficial enterprises. A documentary TV series on the history of Chinese cuisine titled A Bite of China had particularly attracted unexpectedly large audiences, the study said.