Business / Industries

Chinese publishing industry embraces digital transformation: experts

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-05-29 14:06

NEW YORK - Experts attending the BookExpo America (BEA) 2015 on Thursday said the Chinese publishing industry has undergone a digital transformation in its recent development.

"Digital publishing has grown rapidly in China, with an annual pace of 30 percent in revenue for the last five years," said Song Jianxin, deputy director of Technology and Digital Publishing Department of the State Administration of Press and Publication, at the Chinese-American Digital Publishing Forum of BEA 2015.

"In 2014 alone, the total revenue of Chinese digital publishing reached 316.8 billion yuan ($55.1 billion), which account for nearly 10 percent of the total revenue of the Chinese publishing industry," Song added.

Song attributed the booming digital publishing to both the soaring needs of reading through digital devices and the active use of digital technology by Chinese publishers.

Due to an increasing demand of books about China in the Western world, Chinese publishers have been working closely with their international counterparts in digital publishing.

"We provide Chinese publishers with tremendous ways of exporting Chinese content to the rest of the world," David Taylor, senior vice-president of Ingram Content Group, a UK publisher with distribution to 220 countries, said at the forum.

"Instead of printing books and having them shipped to Europe or North America, Chinese publishers are now applying a 'Print on Demand' (POD) model," Taylor said.

He explained that the POD model changed the way publishers work significantly by "selling the book first and then print it" in a non-inventory way in the digital age.

Besides traditional publishers, online bookstores and technology companies in China have also emerged as major players in digital publishing.

"We have been building up partnerships with online bookstores such as Dangdang to launch its English version. Chinese technology giants including Tencent and Xiaomi have also been working with us to develop their English online stores or apps to reach global readers," said James Bryant, CEO of Trajectory Inc., a US digital publishing and distribution vendor.

BEA 2015, the largest annual book trade fair in the United States, is being held at the Javits Convention Center in New York from Wednesday to Friday.

The expo dates back to 1947 and was then known as the American Booksellers Association Convention and Trade Show. It now offers the largest selection of English-language titles and is the largest gathering of booksellers, librarians, retailers and book industry professionals in North America.

China, an emerging power in the international publishing industry, was invited as the guest of honor for BEA 2015's Global Market Forum program, which features three full days of education sessions, exhibitions and off-site cultural events.

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