China's publishing to go global

By Wang Qian (China Daily)
Updated: 2011-01-12 08:06
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BEIJING - China plans to export more than $1 billion worth of books, printed and digital, before the end of the 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-2015) period, officials have said.

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The draft of the 12th Five-Year Plan said that by the end of 2015 export revenue in the publishing industry will double from what it was during the 11th Five-Year Plan (2006-2010) period.

Export revenue from digital publishing products and related services will surpass $1 billion by 2015, encouraging domestic publishing companies to cooperate with foreign ones. The value of exported traditional books will reach $42 million by 2015, the draft said.

"China will build an outstanding publishing industry and brands reflecting the country's culture and showing our influence on the international stage," Liu Binjie, director of the General Administration of Press and Publication said at the 2011 national press and publication work conference in Beijing on Tuesday.

"A medium- and long-term plan for the country's publishing industry will be developed, targeting the mainstream market in Western countries and further expanding the Asian market," Liu said.

The draft plan said an international book exhibition center will be built in Beijing to provide better service and more opportunities to booksellers and publishing houses across the world, making the city a world-class, large and comprehensive cultural exchange stage.

Cooperation with foreign chain bookstores will be strengthened, and the selling channels for books from China through international publishing organizations will be improved, it added.

So far, Chinese publications have been available in more than 3,100 bookstores and libraries in 193 foreign countries and regions, with newspapers and magazines covering more than 80 foreign countries and regions, according to statistics from the administration.

"The competitiveness of China's publishing industry will be raised to a new level," Liu said.

The total revenue from the press and publication industries is expected to reach 130 billion yuan ($19.6 billion) in 2010, which will be more than 60 percent of the added value of the country's culture industry.

Liu said compared with the period of the 10th Five-Year Plan (2001-2005), the total revenue of the publishing industry had doubled from 2006 to 2010.

In that period, China published 20 million books, more than any other country. According to the administration's statistics, it also published the second highest number of digital publications in the world.


Ambitious media strategy

To raise the international competitiveness of Chinese media, the country will seek to build world-class media through encouraging the expansion plans of outstanding publishing companies, officials said.

"We will further strengthen our broadcasting channels and enhance the country's influence on the international stage," Liu Binjie, director of the General Administration of Press and Publication said at a conference in Beijing on Tuesday.

He added that current publishing operations should be restructured to build several large leading companies that will enjoy greater competitiveness and influence.

"We will support and encourage the press and publication companies to develop expansion plans abroad," Liu said. The draft of the 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-2015) said about 10 key digital publishing companies with annual revenue surpassing 10 billion yuan ($1.5 billion) will be formed before 2015.

It added that another 20 key publishing organizations will be encouraged to set up overseas affiliates, branches or stores and to increase investment abroad.

"China has already become a surging power in the press and publication industry across the world," Liu said.

- Wang Qian