Chinese media to get boost overseas

Updated: 2012-01-10 07:50

By Wang Yan and Zhang Yuchen (China Daily)

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BEIJING - The Chinese government plans to increase support for publishing and media companies seeking to expand abroad, especially to areas in Africa, Latin America and China's neighboring countries, a senior press and publication official told China Daily on Monday.

Chen Yingming, deputy director of the international exchange and cooperation department under the General Administration of Press and Publication (GAPP), said investment abroad and copyright exportation both increased during the 11th Five-Year Plan (2006-10) period.

"The funds used for boosting the industry abroad will continue to increase in the coming year," he said.

Many of the current projects are in developed countries, Chen said, but the government will guide more businesses to less-developed areas in the future.

One of the benchmark goals of the plan is to bring China's copyright import-export ratio down from nearly 3-to-1 to 2-to-1 by the end of 2015. The government also aims to increase revenue from media exports to $42 million, according to a guideline released by GAPP on Monday.

The guideline aims at improving the global competitive strength and influence of China's publication and media industry.

To that end, the guideline mandates policy and resource support for publishing and media companies that launch foreign-language publications.

Preferential policies will also go to private enterprises and joint ventures with publishing businesses that sell their products exclusively in foreign markets.

Foreign cultural organizations, media, intermediary agents and individuals that have contributed to China's exploration of the world market will also receive commendations.

Wu Shulin, deputy minister of GAPP, said there is an urgent need for China to become further integrated in the international cultural market.

China has now become the second-largest economy in the world, with its newspaper, periodical and book circulations topping the global list, Wu said.

"The fact is, however, most of the publications are aimed at the domestic market," Wu said."Without the 'going-out' plan, China's publication and media industry will remain in the current situation: large numbers but small influence."

For Jo Lusby, managing director of Penguin China, who saw a place for Chinese publications in foreign markets, the plan is welcome.

"As China has just begun to fully engage with the world. Western readers would like to know China and Chinese culture from the local perspective," Lusby said.

The company's releases of contemporary Chinese novels along with retranslations of Lu Xun's works were well received in overseas markets. The biggest selling point of Chinese novels is the inside view they offer of China's development, she said.

"There is no silver bullet," Lusby said. "There is no one policy or body or decision that can totally change something. It just needs time. It needs many different things to come together to create something."

Lusby applauded government support for overseas expansion of the Chinese publishing industry, but she added that connecting people and building platforms for introducing writers is every bit as important as high-level government dialogues.

Deputy Director Chen said the next step is to further specify the policies and increase the amount of financial support.

"Promoting Chinese culture abroad requires cross-departmental cooperation and efforts from various aspects of society," he said.