China further opens its publishing sector
China has further opened its publication, distribution and printing fields in accordance with its commitments to the World Trade Organization (WTO), said a senior official with the State Press and Publication Administration on Wednesday.
Yu Yongzhan, vice-director of the State Press and Publication Administration, said at a press conference that remarkable progress has been made in the opening of China's publishing industry and currently, most foreign investment is concentrated in the printing sector.
The State Press and Publication Administration (SPPA) approved 568 million US dollars of foreign investment into 102 Chinese printing enterprises in 2002 and 469 million US dollars of foreign investment into 84 Chinese printing enterprises in 2003, acknowledged Yu, adding that the robust foreign investment momentum still maintained during the January-June period this year.
In the sphere of publication distribution, China has opened its retail distribution market to investors from overseas and is preparing to open its wholesale market from the end of this year, said Yu.
"It means foreign publishers could open any kinds of publication distribution companies in China through both joint investment and exclusive investment," he explained.
According to him, China's cross-border copyright trade has been booming in recent years. The copyright of Chinese-English Xinhua Dictionary has been sold by publishers in Singapore, the United States, Britain, France, Germany and Canada.
The copyright of Chinese National Geography magazine has been sold in Japan in 2002 and since then, more than 50,000 volumes of Japanese version of Chinese National Geography magazine have been sold out in Japan. Currently, negotiations are underway on selling the magazine's English, Swedish and Malay versions of copyright.
The newest statistics released by the State Press and Publication Administration show that China used 1688 million US dollars to import foreign publications in 2003, while earning 24. 69 million US dollars by selling Chinese publications to overseas. Last year, China imported 12,516 copyrights and exported 811 copyrights.
Yu also noted that Chinese government still banned foreign publishing organizations setting up branches in China. Overseas investors are not permitted to publish books, newspapers, periodicals, audio-video products and electronic publications in China.