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Historic Moments In Chinese Publishing

2017-03-08 13:40:31
by Li Pengyi

Today, we have the honor to put the inaugural issue of our monthly, the International Publishing Journal, on your table. This will give us a platform to join you every month in examining, from a globalization perspective, the hot spots and focal points, changes and trends, and opportunities and challenges in the publishing industry. The International Publishing Journal is set to provide our international readers with information about Chinese publishing. 

China's brilliant civilization has been running strong uninterruptedly for five thousand years. Our invention of papermaking technology during the Han Dynasty (206 BC-220 AD) and movabletype printing in the Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127) have contributed vastly to the dissemination and inheritance of knowledge and culture around the world.

Western learning found its way eastward to China toward the end of the Qing (1636-1911). The collision of the two cultures led to changes in publishing industry on our land. The Commercial Press, established in 1897, heralded modern publishing in China. As Asia’s largest publishing house in its prime, it formed a trio with the Zhonghua Book Company and the World Book Company to account for half of the turnover of the entire Chinese publishing before 1949.

With the birth of the People's Republic in 1949, management of Chinese publishing was centralized, with publishing, printing and distribution coordinated while operating along specialized lines. As a result, the People's Publishing House and the People's Education Press, among others, were founded in 1950. Thanks to forceful government support for the publishing industry, the average level of literacy among citizens was raised by a large margin. The thriving publishing and cultural work, however, came to an abrupt standstill when the Cultural Revolution erupted in 1966. 

After the reform and opening-up policy was adopted in 1978, the Chinese publishing industry has gradually embarked on the road toward a market economy. As national economic reforms develop in depth, the publishing industry has come a long way: publishing groups appeared on the Chinese horizon, and some of them have found their way to the stock market. Today, the boom of publishing is at its peak, which is evidenced by the presence of 30-odd big publishing groups, over 600 publishing houses, and 10,000 periodicals and magazines in various fields across the land. According to statistics, in 2016 alone, 476,000 titles were published, including 256,000 new ones, and over 193,000 reprints; international copyright transactions and publication exportation grew steadily as well — 16,467 copyrights were imported and 10,471 exported; traditional publishing and digital publishing were further integrated. 

Ours is an ever-changing world, and a subversive one at that. The ways of reading and learning are changing because of technological revolutions; traditional industries are transforming because of technological upgrading. Under these circumstances, publishing and media businesses around the world are branching out into new territories, exploring new strategic vintage points, and striving for new competitiveness. 

Ours is a developing country that opens up herself to the outside world. With globalization being the order of the day, no country can enhance her international status without cultural dissemination. At a time when the Chinese economy is contributing vastly to the world economy, we have got to think carefully about the content and the ways and means for the dissemination of the Chinese culture to the rest of the world. 

China is pursuing the "The Belt and Road" strategy that calls for peace, exchange, mutual understanding, mutual accommodation, collaboration, and win-win results. Such a strategy offers new market opportunities to China’s cultural undertakings. To avail ourselves of such opportunities, our publishing and media businesses have got to tap into the potentials of our cultural heritage, and play an active role in the dialogue between civilizations and the collaboration in the global market. 

The International Publishing Journal is, indeed, born of a most opportune time, with all of you as our readers. Your field of vision is bound to influence the future of Chinese publishing. Your broad-mindedness will help Chinese publishing pursue loft goals. Your magnanimity shall profoundly impact the quality of Chinese publishing. And your ways of thinking shall shape the future of Chinese publishing! 

With all these elements in mind, we shall cater our plans to the general trend of the publishing industry and rise to the occasion. Taking stock of the world today, we are ready to discover and spread in the international publishing and media markets. Confronted with the torrential sea of information, we are willing to exploit it and set things to order. Relying on quality information, broad vision, and professionalism in tapping the value of data, the International Publishing Journal is determined to present the dynamic global and Chinese publishing industries. 

We shall adapt ourselves to the general trend, and seize its momentum to improve our journal. As China's first publication to feature international publishing, the International Publishing Journal shall provide a platform on which information on the Chinese publishing industry is collected and shared, and colossal amount of onestop data and quality reading experience are offered. In this way, a new mode of content integration and multiple transmission is to be found to facilitate concept changes and innovative transformation of the Chinese publishing industry.

What information we are set to spread today is to become what we shall implement tomorrow. We are ready to join you in pursuing the mission to spread Chinese culture, while taking it upon ourselves to project the voice of Chinese publishing and to be a stepping stone for Chinese publishing to go global and for international publishing to be well established in China. Time and tide wait for no man. Let us witness, record and engage in cultural communication and integration between China and other countries! Let us strive for new accomplishments in the cooperation between Chinese and international publishing industries!

2017-03-08 13:40:31
by Li Pengyi


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