China’s publishing industry booming over past 40 years

BEIJING, Nov. 11 (Xinhua) — China has seen rapid growth in its publishing industry over the past four decades, with the number of publishing houses increasing from 105 to over 580, data from National Press and Publication Administration (NPPA) showed.

In 2017 alone, nearly 500,000 varieties of books were published, compared with 15,000 in 1978. A total of 9.24 billion copies were printed, generating a total sales volume of 370.4 billion yuan (53.5 billion U.S. dollars), according to the NPPA.

Since the reform and opening up, China’s publishing industry has evolved in areas of management, ownership, supplies of cultural products and services and integration with other sectors, said NPPA official Liu Xiaokai at an event commemorating the publishing industry’s development this week.

Physical bookstores in China have taken the path of integrated development and transformation and upgrading, thanks to favorable policies introduced in recent years, said Liu.

Ai Limin, director-general of the Books and Periodicals Distribution Association of China, said that it has become a main-stream trend for bookstores to promote the integration of online and offline stores.

Meanwhile, multiple publishing patterns, including traditional printed publishing and emerging electronic, digital, internet and big data publishing, have changed the way of reading.

Director-general of the Publishers Association of China Liu Binjie suggested the publishing industry adopt advanced technologies to foster new reading mode.

Li Guoqing, the founder of China’s e-commerce platform dangdang.com, pledged efforts in areas of original online content, e-books, videos and audio books in the next three years.

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