China publishing industry restructuring pays off

Updated: 2010-08-12 10:15
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BEIJING - China's campaign on restructuring its publishing industry is expected to wind up by the end of 2010 as many full-fledged commercial groups see their profits surging, a senior official has said.

"Most of the companies that became fully market-oriented have been experiencing major changes, showing more vigor and creativity," said Liu Binjie, director of the General Administration of Press and Publication (GAPP), in an interview with Xinhua on Wednesday.

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According to Liu, many of these companies have reported profits of around 20 percent, while the figures prior to the movement usually stood at between 6 to 10 percent.

Income of employees at these groups also saw a 30 percent rise or more, Liu added.

The restructuring campaign started in April last year, when China released guidelines urging the market-oriented news organizations and publishers to turn into full-fledged commercial players in one to two years.

In China, most news organizations and publishers are affiliated with the government at various levels.

However, newspapers and magazines that are deemed to be serving the public interest will not be subject to the full force of the market, though they are also encouraged to restructure their operations.

According to Liu, currently 99 percent of the 528 market-oriented news organizations and publishers in the country have completed their reforms or are being reformed.

During the campaign which seeks to promote market competition, some newspapers and periodicals had been reshuffled or acquired by larger media groups or newspaper organizations, while others simply ceased publication.

Liu urged the authorities to be "determined" in halting the publication of newspapers and periodicals that are unclearly oriented, unpopular or unprofitable.

Liu revealed, during the interview, that the GAPP was considering new rules to further regulate news reporting, with detailed focus on the rights and obligations.