Audio-Video and Electronic Publishing, and Publishing Research in the Chinese Mainland
4 Audio-Video and Electronic Publishing, and Publishing Research in the Chinese Mainland
According to The 2003 China Statistical Data Collection of Press and Publication prepared by the General Administration of Press and Publication (GAPP), by the end of 2002 there were 292 audio-video publishing companies in the Chinese mainland. Of these 221 were independent publishers specializing in audio-video production (i.e. only producing audio-video products) and the other 71 were the audio-video departments of larger publishing houses. A total of 12,296 audio titles were produced, with total output of 226 million copies and total distribution of about 200 million copies, while 13,576 video titles were produced with 218 million copies duplicated and 174 million copies distributed.
Most of the audio-video publishers in the Chinese mainland do not operate on a large scale. In terms of total assets, a majority of them (149), have assets of just RMB1–10 million (US$120,482–1.21 million), accounting for 52% of the total number of publishers. If those with assets less than RMB1 million were included, the percentage would be 60% of total. Another 83 publishers possess assets between RMB10 and 50 million (US$1.21–6.02 million), accounting for 30% of the total number, and a further 25 have assets of more than RMB 50 million (US$6.02 million), accounting for 10% of the total number, and only 16 publishers have assets of more than RMB100 million (US$12.05 million).
122 are literary and art publishers, accounting for 42% of the total, followed by 65 educational publishers, 60 social sciences publishers, and 45 science and technology publishers. Audio-video publications on literature and art are the most market-oriented and are regarded as mass-market products. Recent years have seen an increasing demand for educational products, and as a result such products have taken a one-third market share. The prices of audio-video products in the Chinese mainland are inexpensive. One CD costs about RMB20; a tape about RMB8–18; a VCD about RMB10–28; and a DVD about RMB15–30. In general, the prices are about one-eighth to one-fifth of the U.S.
Audio-video products basically cover five media: cassettes, videotapes (including LD), compact disks, video compact disks, and digital video disks. VCDs and cassettes have the largest market share, accounting for 52% and 42% of the total, respectively. CDs are third on the list taking about 5%, and DVDs close to 1%. (See Figure 4.1.) In 2002, only about 663 videotapes titles were released with a total of 430,300 copies duplicated. This represents only 0.2% of the total market, signaling the extinction of this medium.
The large difference in production structure between the Chinese mainland, Europe and the U.S. mainly stems from the consumption standard and the development of consumer electronic products. Before videotape players became popular in China, video compact disks emerged in the market. Although the VCD is not a replacement of the videotape in Europe and America, it had many advantages in China. Because they are much cheaper than a VCR player, VCD players quickly entered the homes of millions of Chinese families. Moreover, because a computer, another increasingly popular product, can also play VCDs, the VCD gained more momentum to become a mass-market medium. Several factors contribute to the fact that cassettes sell much better than CDs. First, the price is cheaper than that of a CD. Second, the number of various portable cassette players is much higher than that of portable CD players. Third, the main customers of cassettes are students and people in towns and rural areas, representing a huge population; while the main customers of CDs are the city youth, whose number is much smaller.
The development of the audio-video industry in the Chinese mainland over the last 10 years has shown a fluctuating pattern. Before the mid-1990s, the industry grew rapidly, and then it began to decline to its lowest point in 2000. Currently, it seems that the growth has resumed, and in the years 2000 to 2001, 24 audio-video publishers achieved sales of over RMB10 million (US$1.21 million), indicating that some strong audio-video publishers can maintain stable operations and sales numbers. According to Wang Ju, Executive Vice Secretary-General of the China Audio-Video Association, there are 89 audio-video publishers in debt, accounting for 31% of the total publishers, a figure that has reduced from the past (Wang 2003).
In terms of overall capacity in audio-video production, state-owned companies are not a match for the growing private companies. For instance, 70% of singers sign contracts with private producing companies, and almost all popular singers have contracts with private companies. Private companies are stronger in the distribution sector as well. Compared with book and magazine publishing, audio and video publishing in the Chinese mainland is short of high quality professionals, such as high-level managers and project designers, and it is in great need of more industrial regulation. In addition, piracy still casts a very large shadow over the industry.
To encourage the production of excellent audio and video products, the Chinese mainland has set up various publishing awards. The most authoritative award is the National Audio and Video Productions Award, established by GAPP, and there are also the China Record Golden Disc Prize by China Audio and Video Association and the China Golden Record Prize by China National Radio. The China Audio-Video Association is working on the compilation of the first comprehensive yearbook on the audio and video industry, China Audio and Video Yearbook 2002 (First Issue), which was published in May 2004.
2. Various Companies
The audio-video publishing market is largely divided into three stages: the early, middle, and the last stage. The early stage refers to producing and publishing, the middle stage to duplication and the last to wholesale and retail distribution. Four kinds of companies, production, publishing, duplicating, and distribution are engaged in the three stages. Private companies dominate production, which a few publishing houses engage in, and they are mostly music studios that have many contracts with singers and composers, and provide new products to publishers for production. Generally, these companies will not be involved in publication, duplication, and distribution except for participating in product promotion in the distribution stage.
In theory, the production stage should be handled entirely by formal publishing houses, which are also responsible for sales. But in reality, many companies in the distribution sector also engage in the publishing and wholesale business, and most of these companies are private enterprises that cannot be pigeonholed as a “production company.” Known as “production and distribution companies,” these companies generally conduct the production and distribution businesses, even though they are generally not involved in producing original works. The second stage in the production process is duplication, which is mostly controlled by specialized duplication companies, and yet some large publishing companies and distribution companies also have their own duplication units. In the distribution stage, well-to-do distribution companies have also developed into production and distribution companies, and there are almost no large companies that specialize in distribution alone.
Prominent performers have emerged from all the different types of companies. Well-known producers include Rye Music Ltd., Modern Sky Entertainment Co., Ltd., Beijing Star Maker Music Entertainment Co., Ltd., Kirin Kid Productions Ltd., Dadi Records, Zhushu Entertainment Ltd., Northern Brother Culture Development Co., Ltd., Mandolin Culture and Art Development Co., Ltd., Jingwen Entertainment Group Ltd., Kingring Records, Shanghai New Stars Music Production Co., Ltd., Chia Tai Ice Music Production Ltd., Aoqi Music, Tian Xing Culture and Entertainment Co., Ltd., Beijing Victory Culture and Art Development Center, and New Bees Records. A majority of these companies consist of about 10 people, and their business focuses on discovering and exploring singers and launching original works.
In the publishing sector, about 20 publishers have achieved sales over RMB10 million (US$1.20 million) recently, of which 50% are educational publishers. The top five companies with the highest sales in 2001 are the China Record Shanghai Corporation (RMB61.66 million, or US$7.43 million), China Record Shenzhen Corporation (RMB60 million, or US$7.23 million), People’s Education Electronic & Audiovisual Press (RMB59.98 million, or US$7.23 million), Beijing Foreign Language Audiovisual Publishing House (RMB46.2 million, or US$5.57 million), and Shanghai Foreign Language Audiovisual Publishing House (RMB42.44 million, or US$5.11 million). Other major publishing companies include China Record Corporation, Pacific Audio & Video Co., Shanghai Audiovisual Press, Jiangsu Electronic & Audiovisual Press, China Audio & Video Publishing House, China International Television Corporation, China Musicians Audiovisual Publishing House, Beijing Culture and Art Audiovisual Publishing House, China Film Audio and Video Publishing House, and Jiuzhou Audiovisual Publishing Corporation.
The China Record Corporation (CRC) was formed in 1949 and is the national audio and video publisher with the longest history and largest size. It has headquarters in Beijing and subsidiaries in Shanghai, Chengdu, Shenzhen, and Guangzhou. It owns Beijing Record Plant, CRC Audio and Video Production Center and Recording Base, CRC Huaxia Performing Management Co., Ltd., Audio and Video World magazine, CRC Audio and Video Co., Ltd., CRC Music Network, and Shanghai UDO, etc. and has a total of about 3,500 employees. CRC possesses a highly professional production team and advanced production equipment. In the 50 years since formation, it has issued over 56,000 titles with total distribution of 870 million copies, covering all artistic categories. Currently, CRC has accumulated about 120,000 master recordings, of which over 40,000 are the only existing ones on folk music performances of up to 50 years old, and therefore it is the most authoritative audio and video publisher in the country with the greatest number of music titles and with the most diverse record categories.
The Pacific Audio & Video Co. and Shanghai Audiovisual Press are located in Guangzhou and Shanghai respectively. Pacific is the first Chinese company with a complete set of world-class recording, kinescoping equipment, and a modern audio-video production line. As a large, comprehensive audio-visual publishing enterprise, it owns a 10,000 square meter building on the shores of Liuhua Lake. Pacific has the honor of publishing the very first Chinese stereo sound recording tape, and the first Chinese picture-recording collections. Shanghai Audiovisual Press is also a comprehensive company covering producing, publishing, duplicating and distributing and has earned a well-established name in the market. In addition, China International Television Corporation, under China Central Television, is also a fast growing company in recent years thanks to its rich programming catalog.
In production and distribution, major companies in recent years include Guangdong Zhong Kai (Zoke) Cultural Development Co., Ltd., Guangzhou Beauty Culture Communication Ltd., Guangdong Face Audio & Visual Production Co., Ltd., Guangdong Jiajia Audio-Video Productions Co., Ltd., Guangzhou Impact Audio-Video Industry Co., Ltd., Guangzhou Art-land Human Being Culture Communication Co., Ltd., Guangdong Freeland Movie and Video Production Co., Ltd., Guangzhou Hong Xiang Audio-Video Productions Co., Ltd., Tianjin Taida Audio and Video Distribution Center, Dongguan Dongfanghong Movie and Video Production Co., Ltd., Huizhou Dongtian Audio-Video Co., Ltd., Sunchime Group, Starwin Culture Communication Co., Ltd., and Tianyi Audio and Video Limited Company. Most of these companies are private companies that have developed their business by making alliances with state-owned audio-video publishing houses. Many of them have well-developed nationwide distribution networks, own branches and duplication companies and have engaged in other various business fields related to audiovisual products, films and TV programs besides just publishing and distributing. Most of them have headquarters in Guangdong. Now Guangdong Zoke, Guangdong Beauty, Guangdong Face, Guangdong Impact, and Sunchime have become major brand names in audio-video publishing.
Guangdong Zoke has established subsidiaries or offices in various provinces and major cities. In Beijing, in cooperation with Jiuzhou Audiovisual Publishing Corporation it established Beijing Jiuzhou and Zoke Cultural Development Co., Ltd. This company engages in publishing and copyright trading and has a subsidiary in Hong Kong. Zoke owns nearly 5,000 hours of programming, including films, TV shows, children’s encyclopedias, traditional operas, and local music. It has sold hundreds of films and TV shows in the form of VCDs and DVDs, including Xiao Ao Jianghu (The Legendary Swordsman), Da Zhaimen (The Big Household), The Imperial Dynasty of Kang Xi, Qingshenshen Yumengmeng(Romance in The Rain), The Lion Roars, Wanee and Junah, Zhouyu De Huoche (Zhouyu’s Train), Infernal Affairs, and Black Mask II. Guangzhou Zoke is a leading company in the audio and video market in the Chinese mainland.
Guangzhou Beauty and Guangdong Face operate in a similar form and scale as Guangdong Zoke. Guangzhou Beauty produces about 300 movies and TV shows a year, amounting to over 3,000 total productions. Guangdong Face owns over 2,000 various audio-video products, and set a record by paying RMB17.8 million (US$2.14 million) for the domestic audio and video copyright for the movie, Hero.
Sunchime Cartoon is known for creating native cartoons, and is a subsidiary of Sunchime Group, whose business covers audio and video publications, electronic publications, and education. Now programs produced by Sunchime Cartoon represent 50% of the total cartoon production, and its star program 3,000 Whys of Blue Cat has been aired in over 1,000 TV stations including CCTV and Taiwan’s Eastern Television. Books related to the program have also been a major success. Sunchime has invested over RMB120 million (US$14.46) in cartoon production.
There is no clear-cut definition of electronic publishing, and the electronic publishing discussed in this book focuses mainly on two types: first, the tangible electronic publications in the form of CD-ROMs, CD-Is, etc. and second, online publications, i.e. the electronic books and magazines provided by Internet digital communications, excluding news publications such as online newspapers.
In 2002, there were about 102 electronic publishers producing 4,713 different electronic publications with a total reproduction of 96.81 million copies; nearly 20,000 electronic book titles were downloadable and more than 10 websites providing download services for these e-books.
As in the case with online publishing in the other parts of the world, online publishing in China also experienced a recent decline, but now the tide has started to turn.
Online publishing takes on mainly three forms. First, websites disseminate e-books, which can be downloaded by readers for a fee or free-of-charge. Second, websites send e-books through e-mails to subscribers for a fee or free of charge. Third, websites provide customized services through print-on-demand (POD). All of these forms are still young and far from being popular, but a few websites already operate on a considerable scale and are gaining popularity.
Major online publishing websites currently include www.china-pub.com, www.chnebook.com, www.cnbook.com.cn, www.eobook.com, www.chinesebook.com.cn, www.ebook.com, and www.jinke.com.cn. All of these websites have more than 1,000 titles, with an average price around RMB5–10 for works under copyright protection.
The website www.china-pub.com was launched by a professional publishing company China-pub.com Inc. in cooperation with the Huazhang Co. of China Machine Press. It focuses on selling computer and foreign language books and has a huge customer base. Prominent players in publishing management include www.chnebook.com of Hunan Publishing Group, www.cnbook.com.cn of Liaoning Publishing Group and www.eobook.com of Jiangsu Publishing Group. The website, www.peoplespace.net, a pioneer in exploring online publishing, provides fee-based downloads of over several dozen books, including War and Anti-War and Fifty Years of Chinese Economic Development. However, it has made little progress recently.
Producers of electronic readers, also known as e-readers or e-books, include the Liaoning Publishing Group, Tianji Jinke Electronics Co., Ltd. (a joint venture between Nankai University and Hong Kong Pangjing Group), Shanghai Webon Digital Technology Co., Ltd., and Eshutang Scientific and Technological Development Co., Ltd. They have developed their own products, even though they have not yet gained mass popularity. The Liaoning Publishing Group has the most number of products such as Q-Reader, electronic school bag, and electronic musical score book. Q-Reader is a popular product, which has similar functions as American rocket e-Book, with a 6-inch black and white touch-sensitive LCD, five degrees of background light shades adjustable to ambient light supporting night-time reading without additional light, two adjustable font sizes, and a total weight of about 400g. It adopts the internationally used Open eBook (OEB) format and is compatible with html documents and able to convert other formats into OEB for reading. As for hardware configuration, it has a 32MB memory which can store 50–60 books with about 20 million characters and is able to upload new books from the Internet.
In electronic publishing technology and services, Beijing Founder Electronics Co., Ltd. of Peking University has launched Apabi ebook network publishing solutions, the first comprehensive electronic publishing solutions in the Chinese mainland. The solutions contain Apabi Maker for designing formats of electronic books, Apabi Publisher Server for publishing houses, Apabi Retail Server for online bookstores, and Apabi Rights for readers. Founder Apabi eBook Solutions has prepared the way for publishing houses to quickly start online publishing with their electronic book files.
To encourage excellent electronic publishing products, GAPP has established the biennial National Electronic Publications Award. In addition, the industry is also very active in competing for international prizes, for instance, it has participated in the “Möbius Prize of International Multimedia” held in Moscow for eight years, sponsored by the European Union and International Federation of Multimedia Associations. Many Chinese works have won prizes, and in 2001 the award ceremony was held in China.
While the future of Internet publishing in China and the rest of the world still seems elusive and uncertain, online bookstores are beginning to see signs of hope turning into reality. Online bookstores in the Chinese mainland are just getting started.
There are about 300 online bookstores in operation, of which several dozen have established their own distinctive features and sphere of influence. Active players in this field include www.joyo.com, www.dangdang.com, www.bol.com.cn, www.bookbuilding.com, www.bookmall.com.cn, www.ewen.cc, www.chnebook.com, www.eobook.com, www.book321.com, www.modernbooks.com, www.huabeibook.com, www.peoplespace.net, www.bookyesite.com, www.bayakala.cn, www.book800.com, www.sybook.com, www.jingqi.com, and www.dragonsource.com.
Private companies, IT enterprises, bookstores, and publishing houses run most of the online bookstores, which are mostly located in the big cities of Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Shenzhen and Nanjing. Generally speaking, online bookstores share four major features. First, most of them deliver books directly to customers. Second, there are various ways of payment, including online payment as well as cash. Third, the majority of online bookstores have their own warehouses. Fourth, some online bookstores cooperate with bookstores, and this enables customers to pick up books they bought online from the nearest partner bookstore.
Because payment by credit cards has not become popular and labor costs are very low, many companies provide express delivery services to customers. For instance, two-thirds of Dangdang.com customers make their payment as they receive books via express delivery. Only 10–15% of customers make online payment by credit cards. Other websites are similar. If customers live in the same city where the website company is located, the company could have the books delivered to them within two days. Generally, those websites with such services have their own delivery team of more than 10 people or even several dozen, while bigger companies could have as many as a hundred or more.
Within the last four to five years, online bookstores have experienced ups and downs, and now they are beginning to regain their strength. Gone are the days of the phenomenal boom when 20 dotcoms can emerge every day, but the Internet continues to gain more influence with an expanding market. In 2003, China Internet Weekly, an authoritative journal of the online industry listed Joyo.com and Dangdang.com among “China’s Top 10 Flagship Internet Companies,” showing that online bookstores in the Chinese mainland have made impressive growth and achieved recognition within the Internet industry.
Joyo.com was formed in 2000 by two famous IT companies in China, Kingsoft Corp. and Lenoro Group Ltd. (formerly Legend Group Ltd.), and later the internationally well-known capital firm Tiger Technology Fund became its third-largest shareholder. Joyo.com set up its headquarters in Beijing and has subsidiaries in Shanghai and Guangzhou, with a total of nearly 200 employees and selling mostly fashionable cultural products including audio and video products, books, software, games, and gifts. Joyo.com is known for its superior quality and fast delivery and thus, the company has won over more than 5.2 million registered customers, becoming the retail website with the largest number of logins and highest sales. In 2003, Joyo’s revenues reached RMB160 million (US$19.28 million), of which book sales accounted for 55%. Joyo.com has received many honors, such as winning the title of “China’s Excellent Cultural Website” offered by the Organizing Committee of the National Network Cultural Project, ranking among “China’s Top 10 Flagship Internet Companies” and “Top 100 Internet Companies with the Most Investment Values.” In 2003, online shopping customers rated Joyo.com as the most satisfying company among all Chinese business-to-customer (B2 C) webs (surveyed by Sina.com, the most famous website in China), and Cheng Nian, Vice-President of Joyo.com, became one of the China Business Post’s “Top 10 People in China’s Economy.”
Dangdang.com claims to be the largest online Chinese bookstore in the world and was formed in November 1999 by the International Data Group of the U.S., Luxembourg Cambridge Holding Group, Softbank Corporation of Japan, and the Science and Culture Corporation of China. It provides over 200,000 Chinese book titles and more than 10,000 audio and video products with logins of over 800,000 and about 4,000 orders daily, which over half are for DVDs or CDs. In 2002, Dangdang.com’s sales reached RMB35 million (US$4.22 million), and its gross profit reached 25%, very close to Amazon.com’s 28%. It had planned to get into the black by 2003.
As well as Joyo.com and Dangdang.com, Bol.com.cn also deserves attention. Bol.com.cn is owned by Bertelsmann AG and has its headquarters in Shanghai. It claims to be of one of the three largest online bookstores in China. Launched in end 2000, it now has over 300,000 products with 200,000 daily logins, daily orders of between 3,000 and 4,000, and annual sales of RMB40– 50 million (US$4.82–6.02 million). Bol.com.cn currently has around 530,000 regular customers and it provides after-payment delivery service to 16 cities.
Modernbooks.com was the earliest online bookstore, and Peoplespace.net also once enjoyed popularity, but now both of them have fallen into mediocrity.
Compared with their counterparts in Europe, the U.S., Hong Kong and Taiwan, the online book industry has its advantages and disadvantages. With more improvements taking place in the financial service system, people are beginning to have more trust in online sales. Yet, there still are two major obstacles impeding the development of online sales. First, most people are not used to online payment. It is popular among young people to pay with credit cards, but that is mostly in stores, not online. Second, online bookstores do not have sufficient supplementary sales networks in small and medium-sized cities.
However, online bookstores in the Chinese mainland have their own advantages, which include the following:
First, there is a demand and need for online publishing and distribution. At present, books with a small readership, especially academic books, have difficulties with both publication and distribution, and this situation actually invites the development of online publication and distribution. Internet publishing, especially with the technology of POD, could help interested readers and publishers find each other.
Second, conditions are favorable to provide express delivery. In developed countries, express delivery is more expensive because labor is more expensive, but that is not a problem in the Chinese mainland. The existence of surplus human resources makes labor costs very low, and it therefore would not cost companies much to provide express delivery. In Beijing, for example, even when the bookstores request professional delivery companies to deliver books, the cost is only RMB10 within 25 kilometers, and RMB20–30 within 40 kilometers. If the bookstores themselves deliver the books, it costs only RMB4 every time, therefore, bookstores generally provide free delivery service if a customer spends over a certain amount (usually it is about RMB50, or US$6.02). In short, book delivery cost is not high at all. Currently, several dozen of express delivery companies have emerged in Beijing, such as Zhaijisong Express, Pony Express, and Little Red Hat, all doing very well. Competition in this field has been relentless, and it has forced the state-owned Post Office system to compete and begin to provide express services with low charges.
Third, the cost of warehousing is also relatively low. It is a must for online bookstores to have their own warehouses in order to provide fast delivery at a low cost. In the land-rich Chinese mainland where there are many available spaces in city suburbs, it is convenient and cost-efficient to build warehouses.
Fourth, the number of Internet users in the Chinese mainland is increasing rapidly, and more Internet users are taking advantage of e-commerce. According to the latest survey by the Internet Society of China, by the end of 2003 there were already more than 78 million Internet users, ranking second in the world, and the number of people paying online with various credit cards also recorded a significant increase. More importantly, it is becoming popular to transfer money via cell phones. There are nearly 260 million cell phone users, ranking first in the world, and the number of people paying through cell phones is growing daily. Of 30 million short messages in the world, nine million messages are sent in China. In 2003, the revenue of China Telecommunication reached RMB381.4 billion (US$45.95 billion), growing 14.5% over the last year. Online payment services were recently introduced, and this is definitely a blessing to online bookstore sales.
Fifth, the government is giving full support to the Internet industry. Government offices at various levels have adopted many measures to promote the development of the Internet industry. The projects such as the “Government Online Project” and “Enterprises Online Project” have been fully implemented. Also, the registration for public service examinations, university admissions and services for student study and counseling all have been processed with Internet technology, and this facilitates the development of online bookstores. In 2003, during the period of the SARS outbreak, GAPP recommended 20 online bookstores to the people nationwide, and the sales of various online bookstores went up rapidly at that time.
The development of online bookstores in the past five years in the Chinese mainland shows that it is not feasible to follow the exact Amazon.com business model. However, if parts of the model are used in tandem with the features distinct to the market, it may be possible to build a “new Amazon” that is likely to succeed. The success of Joyo.com has proven that this is possible.
1.Publishing Research and Education
Publishing research, education, and information services have developed a definitive structure that is the most comprehensive of any Chinese language publishing industry in the world.
Specialized research institutes and higher educational institutions are major players in publishing research. At present, there are about 10 various publishing research institutes, including both private and state-owned. Their focus is on editing, marketing, and publishing history. Prominent players are the Chinese Institute of Publishing Science, Beijing OpenBook Market Consulting Center, Beijing Hui Cong Media Research Center, Periodical Research Institute under Beijing Institute of Graphic Communication, and Global China (Beijing) Media Consulting Co., Ltd. The Chinese Institute of Publishing Science is the largest.
The Chinese Institute of Publishing Science, a comprehensive publishing research organization with a total staff of over 80 people, was founded in 1985 by GAPP. It consists of several research units on publishing theory, three magazine editing units, one publishing house, one information center, and a website. It issues magazines such as Publishing Research, Publishing World and Media. Its subsidiary, China Book Publishing House, is well known for publishing various professional books, including recent influential books such as the Blue Book of China Publishing, the Blue Book of International Publishing and Research on Publishing Groups. The Periodical Research Institute under the Beijing Institute of Graphic Communication was formed by the China Periodical Association and Beijing Institute of Graphic Communication and focuses on researching both domestic and foreign periodicals. It has completed many projects commissioned by the government and trade organizations.
Both Beijing OpenBook Market Consulting Center and Beijing Hui Cong Media Research Center are private companies that provide commercial information services. OpenBook has over 40 employees and focuses on providing data and information on the book market. It produces related reports through monitoring the retail market and then selling the reports to publishing houses. Its surveys and investigations cover about 120 medium-to-large bookstores in 70 cities with total sales of about RMB220 million (US$26.51 million), accounting for 14% of total retail sales. Beijing Hui Cong, a subsidiary of Hui Cong International Information Co., provides mostly periodical market data. It owns a well-developed newspaper-magazine media data bank, a newspaper and magazine database, monitoring over 1,100 newspapers and magazines in 72 cities. It monitors advertisements as well as content, with the total amount of monitored advertisements representing 90% of the national advertising total in newspapers and magazines and covering 26 trades or industries with more than 3,000 product categories. Besides conducting commissioned research, Beijing Hui Cong also publishes information materials such as Research on Media Advertising Market in China in cooperation with the Public Opinions Research Institute of Renmin University. Both companies have their own websites, www.openbook.com.cn and www.media.sinobnet.com.
In addition, some universities and periodical publishers have established publishing research units, such as the Editing Research Office of Henan University, the Publishing Research Institute of Beijing Normal University, and the Periodical Research Office of the Nu You magazine.
Publishing education has reached a considerable scale in the Chinese mainland and covers three levels: elementary, intermediate and advanced. Now more than 30 higher educational institutions have begun to train students in specialties including editing, printing, distribution, and publishing, with prominent schools including: Wuhan University, Nanjing University, Peking University, Tsinghua University, Henan University, Beijing Normal University, Fudan University, Nankai University, and the Beijing Institute of Graphic Communication. (See Figure 4.2.) Formed in 1978, the Beijing Institute of Graphic Communication is the first institute of higher education specialized in printing. It has also established a publishing department and other departments related to publishing. The China Museum of Printing is also located at this institute. Since 1978 (when the Chinese mainland started reforms), more than 11,000 students have chosen publishing or publishing-related subjects and have graduated from various professional schools, colleges and universities. In addition, GAPP and many press and publication bureaus at the provincial level have established training centers focusing on training publishing professionals. In order to improve professional skills and professional standards, an examination system for publishing professionals has also been implemented.
2. Publishing Information
Many media carry publishing information, especially newspapers, magazines, and websites. Currently, there are about 50 various newspapers and magazines specializing in the publishing industry. Influential newspapers include China Book Business Report, China Press and Publishing Journal, China Reading Weekly, Wenhui Reader’s Weekly, New Books Weekly, and China Books and Periodicals Vision, with China Book Business Report being the most influential. China Book Business Report, a newspaper focusing on the publishing and distribution industry under the China Publishing Group and issued on Tuesdays, provides the most inclusive and recent information in the industry and is always the first choice for publishing advertisements. It also issues Book Review Weekly. China Press and Publishing Journal is a professional newspaper directly under GAPP. China Reading Weekly and Wenhui Reader’s Weekly are newspapers specializing in providing publishing information with targeted readership of academia and publishing professionals, respectively. These three newspapers exert considerable influence in the publishing industry.
There are also many magazines specializing in the publishing industry. Many books, newspapers, and electronic and Internet publications also have their own trade journals. Prominent titles include Information on Publication, Publishing Research, China Publishing Journal, China Editing, A Vast View on Publishing, Media, China Audio and Video, China Electronic and Net Publishing, Publishing Science, Publishing Economy, Science Technology and Publication, Publishing Square, China Juvenile and Children’s Publishing, Friend of Editors, China Book Review, Publishing Work, National Bibliography of New Books, Weekly Bulletin of China’s CIP and China Book Guide. Of these, Information on Publication and A Vast View on Publishing always contains a large of amount of publishing information, and Publishing Research and Publishing Science are known for theoretical exploration, especially Publishing Research, the most authoritative magazine on publishing theories. Media, China
Audio and Video, and China Electronic and Net Publishing focus on providing newspaper and magazine information, audio and video information, and electronic publishing information. National Bibliography of New Books, Weekly Bulletin of China’s CIP, and China Book Guide are booklist providers, with the first two sponsored by The Information Center of GAPP. Publishing Work collects articles on publishing from various newspapers and magazines and is published by the Newspapers and Periodicals Information Center of Renmin University.
In addition to the professional information providers, many other magazines also have publishing coverage, such as Du Shu, Panorama, House Book, Read, Books and People, Shu Yuan, Book Digest, and Digest of Chinese and Foreign Books. These magazines also often carry publishing information and advertisements, especially Du Shu, which has significant influence among Chinese intellectuals and is therefore one of the first choices to carry advertisements for social science books. In addition, some chain bookstores, book clubs, and publishing groups publish their own magazines such as Literary Landscape of the Shanghai Century Publishing Group, CNP Readers’ Club from the same organization, Book Review of www.cn-book.com, Good Books of Xishu, and Bertelsmann’s catalog.
In the 50 years since 1949, there have been about 1,600 titles released specializing on publishing. Other than many monographs and translated works, there are also multi-volume educational, reference and research books such as China Encyclopedia: Press and Publication, Historical Data of Chinese Contemporary Publishing, Publishing Historical Materials of People’s Republic of China, and Textbooks for Book Distribution Major in Higher Educational Institutions. Since 1980, The Publishers Association of China has issued the China Publishing Yearbook annually. In addition, there is the Periodical Yearbook, Press Yearbook, China Book Publication Yearbook, and the Audio and Video Publishing Yearbook which was published in April 2004.
Many TV and radio stations broadcast special programs dedicated to book reading, such as Reading Hour on CCTV and Book-Reading on Hebei TV station. Moreover, many websites provide publishing information, the prominent ones being www.booktide.com, http://book.sina.com.cn, www.people.com.cn, www.magazinemarket.org.cn, http://av.ccnt.com.cn, www.cnave.com, www.ewen.cc, www.bayakala.com., www.21cbi.com, www.sinobook.com.cn, and www.ccopyright.com.cn. GAPP and the National Copyright Administration have also set up several information sites such as www.ppa.gov.cn, www.ncac.gov.cn, and www.chinabook.gapp.gov.cn.
3. Publishing Organizations
Many publishing organizations exist, covering various fields such as book publishing, newspaper and magazine publishing, audio and video publishing, electronic publishing, and copyright protection. Generally they have two different levels, the national and the regional. Major national organizations include The Publishers Association of China, China Periodicals Association, All-China Journalists’ Association, China Audio and Video
Association, China Book and Periodical Issuing Association, China Editors Association, The Printing Technology Association of China, China Copyright Protection Association, China University Press Association, and China Youth Newspapers and Periodicals Association. Regional organizations are generally established at the provincial level or prefecture municipal level, such as Beijing Publishers Association or the Liaoning Publishers Association.
The major functions of publishing organizations range from organizing book fairs, trade fairs and conferences to training professionals and protecting members’ legal rights. The Publishers Association of China, the largest publishing organization, has publishing units as members and over 30 working committees covering fields including science and technology, youth, women, copyright, and proofreading. It offers influential book awards such as the China National Book Award and Taofen Publishing Award. The All-China Journalists’ Association is the largest organization of reporters, and China Periodicals Association, China Audio and Video Association, and the China Book and Periodical Issuing Association are the most influential organizations in their respective fields.