China Bestsellers: November’s Big Sales Rule the Charts

In News by Porter Anderson

Major seasonal sales impacted the bestseller charts in China in November, as illustrated books saw strong performances from two major children’s book series.

Passengers wait at Guangzhou’s main train terminal on December 12. Beijing has opened a drive to vaccinate 50 million citizens before the February Lunar New Year festivities. Image – iStockphoto: Fanfan Meng

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson
The Classics Ride High on ‘Double 11’ Sales
At play in the November charts based on the research of our colleagues at Beijing OpenBook are major sales offerings traditionally seen in both China’s winter and summer marketing ploys.

‘I Belonged to You’

As Publishing Perspectives readers know from earlier discussion in our China bestsellers series, discounts are a huge factor in the success of online book retail in China. What makes these key seasonal sale periods distinctive are major promotions with familiar names such as the “Double 11,” China’s “single day shopping festival,” and the “618” sale, China’s midyear shopping fest.

Characteristic of this market’s slow-moving rankings, these major sale events frequently drive the classics and old standards that tend to dominate the market’s lists. November’s Double 11 action, for example, caused sales to double for such chart stalwarts as Moments We Shared, The Three-Body Problem and Ran Freely. An effect of this, of course—familiar in many world publishing markets—is that the fortunes of the already-bestselling books increase while lesser known titles fly below these big sales’ radar and get less lift.

In nonfiction, classics demonstrating the discount-driven trend included No More Than Skins, We Three, The Stories of the Sahara and Seeing Off.

Yuval Noah Harari’s Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind rose 10 places from the previous month, ranking sixth on the OpenBook nonfiction bestseller chart. In general, older titles tend to stand out as discounts are applied, our associate Rainy Liu notes, because readers are drawn to the perceived quality of classic books.

Though low on the listings, there were some contemporary novels on the move, too, however, even amid the sales’ general support for the tried and true.

These include:

  • The Devotion of Suspect X by Higashino Keigo, ranked No. 28
  • I Belonged to You (Revised Edition) by Zhang Jiajia, ranked No. 25
  • The Light in the Night by Priest, ranked No. 30
Illustrated Series

Cover images from the International Master EQ Education Picture Book Museum series of 18 titles

Of newer interest to our seasoned readers, our new rankings of illustrated bestsellers in the Chinese market may also be bringing us books that are equally well known to parents and young readers there, but newer to us.

‘Guess How Much I Love You’

For example, here are Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney and Anita Jeram, which is a story of the love between a mother and her son told by rabbits.

The book seems to have captured celebrity favor, which has helped drive its popularity when big names mention it as a favorite of theirs.

Some of the leading lights who have recommended the book include the Olympic champion Zou Shiming and his family, appearing on Reader, a China Central Television (CCTV) program devoted to literary topics.

The actor Tong Dawei wrote recommendations for this book on social media. Liu Qiangdong, the president of the e-commerce giant JD (for Jingdong) was joined by his wife and daughter in endorsing the book. And Princess Eugenie, the younger daughter of Britain’s Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson, has spoken out about her fondness for Guess How Much I Love You.

A title in the French series, ‘Les P’Tites Poules’

And in both our rankings of illustrated books—like fiction and nonfiction, we rank overall and foreign-author titles—you’ll see a big run of books from France’s “Les P’Tites Poules” series, “The Little Hens.” That’s the series created by Christian Jolibois and Christian Heinrich and published in 2001 by Éditions Pocket Jeunesse.

The other heavy hitter, lower on the list, features several titles from the 18-book International Master EQ Education Picture Book Museum series. Our associates say that this series, using work from Europe and the United States, focuses on “good habits, characters, and morals, to help children mature with high “emotional intelligence,” reportedly indispensable in Chinese education today.

Below, then, are OpenBook’s overall lists from (month) of bestsellers in fiction and nonfiction, followed by its lists of bestselling fiction and nonfiction in China by authors from outside the country.

At the end of our article, as always, you’ll find notes on how the lists are constructed.

The Coronavirus in China

At this writing, the 8:22 a.m. ET (1322 GMT) update of the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center sees 96,278 reported cases in China’s population of 1.4 billion, with only 4,787 fatalities reported. Discussion continues in public health circles, of course, about the trustworthiness of the figures being supplied by the government of China–as in the case with several other nations, including Russia.

Eva Dou reports for the Washington Post that Beijing has opened a drive to9 vaccinate 50 million frontline workers for the coronavirus COVID-19 by the Lunar New Year travel season, the holiday falling on February 12. It’s during that festival week that the brunt of the original outbreaks was coming to light.

Dou’s writeup includes the fact that China’s current Sinopharm vaccine inoculation program has drawn some questions. “Sinopharm has come under criticism for lack of transparency,” she writes, “with scant detail released about its Phase 3 clinical trials.

“Wu Yonglin, the president of the Sinopharm unit that developed the vaccine, has said that the company will provide detailed data after more observation.”

OpenBook’s Fiction Bestsellers, November 2020
October 2020 November 2020 ISBN Release Date Title (Translated) Author Chinese Publisher
13 1 9787530216774 2017-07 Ordinary Word Lu Yao Beijing October Art & Literature Publishing House
1 2 9787540487645 2018-06 Moments We Shared Zhang Jiajia Hunan Literature & Art Press
4 3 9787536692930 2008-01 The Three-Body Problem Liu Cixin Chongqing Publishing House
5 4 9787536693968 2008-05 The Dark Forest Liu Cixin Chongqing Publishing House
6 5 9787229030933 2010-11 Death’s End Liu Cixin Chongqing Publishing House
9 6 9787559439482 2020-04 Ran Freely (3)(The End) Wu Zhe Jiangsu Literature & Art Press
3 7 9787506365437 2010-06 To Live Yu hua The Writer’s Publishing House
10 8 9787559446848 2020-04 Ran Freely (2) (2020 Edition) Wu Zhe Jiangsu Literature & Art Press
7 9 9787559620187 2018-10 Ran Freely Wu Zhe Beijing Union Publishing Co., Ltd.
12 10 9787530216781 2017-06 Ordinary Word (3 Volumns) Lu Yao Beijing October Art & Literature Publishing House
17 11 9787020090006 2012-07 Fortress Besieged Qian Zhongshu People’s Literature Publishing House
16 12 9787208061644 2006-04 The Kite Runner (2018 Edition) Khaled Hosseini Shanghai People’s Publishing House
8 13 9787020164776 2020-07 A Late Bloomer Mo Yan People’s Literature Publishing House
14 14 9787544291170 2017-08 One Hundred Years of Solitude (50th Anniversary Edition) Gabriel García Márquez Nan Hai Publishing Co.
26 15 9787020008735 1998-07 Journey to the West Wu Cheng’en People’s Literature Publishing House
15 16 9787544291163 2017-08 Journey Under the Midnight Sun (2017 Edition) Higashino Keigo Nan Hai Publishing Co.
20 17 9787559442680 2020-06 Break the Cloud (2) Huai Shang Jiangsu Literature & Art Press
29 18 9787020002207 1998-07 Dream of the Red Chamber Cao Xueqin People’s Literature Publishing House
22 19 9787530219218 2019-02 Life is Like Ocean Mai Jia Beijing October Art & Literature Publishing House
23 20 9787559436399 2019-07 Break the Cloud Huai Shang Jiangsu Literature & Art Press
Not Ranked 21 9787506394864 2017-09 Sophie’s World (New Edition) Jostein Gaarder The Writer’s Publishing House
28 22 9787544280662 2020-03 Silent Parade Higashino Keigo Nan Hai Publishing Co.
30 23 9787544285148 2016-10 Malice Higashino Keigo Nan Hai Publishing Co.
24 24 9787532776771 2018-03 Norwegian Wood (30th Anniversary Edition) Haruki Murakami Shanghai Translation Publishing House
Not Ranked 25 9787540491949 2019-06 I Belonged to You (Revised Edition) Zhang Jiajia Hunan Literature & Art Press
Not Ranked 26 9787020008742 1998-07 Water Margin Shi Nai’an,Luo Guanzhong People’s Literature Publishing House
11 27 9787559439833 2020-07 The Only One Mu Suli Jiangsu Literature & Art Press
Not Ranked 28 9787544267618 2014-06 The Devotion of Suspect X Higashino Keigo Nan Hai Publishing Co.
Not Ranked 29 9787020127894 2017-07 Fortress Besieged Qian Zhongshu People’s Literature Publishing House
Not Ranked 30 9787550025103 2017-12 The Light in the Night Priest Baihuazhou Literature & Art Publishing House

OpenBook’s Nonfiction Bestsellers, November 2020
October 2020 November 2020 ISBN Release Date Title (Translated) Author Chinese Publisher
1 1 9787544276986 2019-10 Educated: A Memoir Tara Westover Nan Hai Publishing Co.
2 2 9787550268517 2016-07 Positive Discipline Jane Nelsen Beijing Union Publishing Co., Ltd.
4 3 9787549632725 2020-09 30 Minutes of Chinese History in Cartoon (5) Chen Lei Wenhui Publishing House
11 4 9787508095226 2018-09 Nonviolent Communication Marshall B.Rosenberg Huaxia Publishing House
6 5 9787544387866 2019-09 30 Minutes of Chinese History in Cartoon (4) Chen Lei Hainan Publishing House
16 6 9787508660752 2017-02 Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind Yuval Noah Harari CITIC Publishing House Co.,Ltd
5 7 9787540489304 2019-01 Danshari Yamashita Eiko Hunan Literature & Art Press
7 8 9787539999883 2017-03 30 Minutes of Chinese History in Cartoon Chen Lei Jiangsu Literature & Art Press
8 9 9787544382045 2018-05 30 Minutes of Chinese History in Cartoon (2) Chen Lei Hainan Publishing House
9 10 9787544382052 2018-05 30 Minutes of Chinese History in Cartoon (3) Chen Lei Hainan Publishing House
12 11 9787559418111 2018-04 30 Minutes of World History in Cartoon Chen Lei Jiangsu Literature & Art Press
17 12 9787559620125 2018-05 Genius on the Left, Lunatic on the Right (Full Version)(New Edition) Gao Ming Beijing Union Publishing Co., Ltd.
10 13 9787540484880 2018-01 The Gay Genius: The Life and Times of Su Tungpo (Commemorative Edition) Lin Yutang Hunan Literature & Art Press
19 14 9787201088945 2014-12 No More Than Skins Cai Chongda Tianjin People’s Publishing House
25 15 9787108063106 2018-06 We Three (Third Edition) Yang Jiang SDX Joint Publishing Company
22 16 9787559639134 2020-06 The Rise of China Jin Yinan Beijing Union Publishing Co., Ltd.
14 17 9787503561634 2017-08 Xi Jinping’s Seven Years as an Educated Youth Party School of the Central Committee of C.P.C Central Party School Press
15 18 9787559643872 2020-08 May You 2.0 Da Bing Beijing Union Publishing Co., Ltd.
20 19 9787559436184 2019-05 30 Minutes of Tang Poetry in Cartoon Chen Lei Jiangsu Literature & Art Press
21 20 9787532174997 2020-03 30 Minutes of Song Poetry in Cartoon Chen Lei Shanghai Literature & Art Press
Not Ranked 21 9787503568404 2020-07 Xi Jinping in Fuzhou Party School of the Central Committee of C.P.C Central Party School Press
13 22 9787020116133 2016-06 Red Star Over China Edgar Snow People’s Literature Publishing House
26 23 9787559435552 2019-09 30 Minutes of Tang Poetry in Cartoon (2) Chen Lei Jiangsu Literature & Art Press
30 24 9787535732309 2001-11 A Brief History of Time Stephen W.Hawking Hunan Science & Technology Press
28 25 9787530214787 2017-04 The Stories of the Sahara Echo Beijing October Art & Literature Publishing House
Not Ranked 26 9787544389372 2019-11 30 Minutes of Chinese History in Cartoon: Traditional Chinese Festivals Chen Lei Hainan Publishing House
Not Ranked 27 9787521708554 2019-09 Style Wu Jun CITIC Publishing House Co.,Ltd
Not Ranked 28 9787549550173 2014-01 Seeing Off Long Yingtai Guangxi Normal University Press
Not Ranked 29 9787503567285 2020-01 Xi Jinping in Xiamen Party School of the Central Committee of C.P.C Central Party School Press
Not Ranked 30 9787503567292 2020-01 Xi Jinping in Ningde Party School of the Central Committee of C.P.C Central Party School Press

OpenBook’s Illustrated Bestsellers, November 2020
October 2020 November 2020 ISBN Release Date Title (Translated) Author Author Nationality Chinese Publisher
2 1 9787533274269 2018-08 Listenable Enlightenment Picture Book (60 volumes) He Yao China Chang Jiang Press
1 2 9787543464582 2013-08 Guess How Much I Love You Sam McBratney, Anita Jeram Ireland Tomorrow Publishing House
3 3 9787543464575 2007-05 My Dad Anthony Browne United Kingdom Hebei Education Press
4 4 9787539189147 2007-06 My mum Anthony Browne United Kingdom Hebei Education Press
10 5 9787539135168 2014-01 MIYANISHI’s Tyrannosaurus Series Tatsuya Miyanishi Japan 21st Century Press Group
13 6 9787539135182 2006-10 Les P’tites Poules: I want to See the Sea Christian Jolibois, Christian Heinrich France 21st Century Press Group
18 7 9787539135151 2006-10 Les P’tites Poules: I Want to Have a Star Christian Jolibois, Christian Heinrich France 21st Century Press Group
16 8 9787539135175 2006-10 Les P’tites Poules: I will Get the Sun Back Christian Jolibois, Christian Heinrich France 21st Century Press Group
17 9 9787539135137 2006-10 Les P’tites Poules: I Want to Have a Little Brother Christian Jolibois, Christian Heinrich France 21st Century Press Group
19 10 9787539135144 2006-10 Les P’tites Poules: I Love the Black Kitty Christian Jolibois, Christian Heinrich France 21st Century Press Group
20 11 9787539168999 2006-10 Les P’tites Poules: I Can Beat the Monster Christian Jolibois, Christian Heinrich France 21st Century Press Group
24 12 9787539188607 2011-10 Les P’tites Poules: I Am Not a Coward Christian Jolibois, Christian Heinrich France 21st Century Press Group
21 13 9787539155937 2013-06 Les P’tites Poules: I Love the Saucepan Christian Jolibois, Christian Heinrich France 21st Century Press Group
25 14 9787539148076 2010-06 Les P’tites Poules: I Must Rescue B E Riot Christian Jolibois, Christian Heinrich France 21st Century Press Group
22 15 9787539144542 2009-05 Les P’tites Poules: I Like Her Very Much Christian Jolibois, Christian Heinrich France 21st Century Press Group
23 16 9787539141992 2009-05 Les P’tites Poules: I Don’t Want to Be Eaten Christian Jolibois, Christian Heinrich France 21st Century Press Group
26 17 9787543464636 2008-09 Les P’tites Poules: I’ll Find Langlang Christian Jolibois, Christian Heinrich France 21st Century Press Group
12 18 9787543470927 2007-04 No, David! David Shannon United States Hebei Education Press
8 19 9787543464582 2008-10 David Goes to School David Shannon United States Hebei Education Press
3 20 9787543472259 2007-05 My Dad Anthony Browne United Kingdom Hebei Education Press
Not Ranked 21 9787545533941 2009-04 David Gets in Trouble David Shannon United States Hebei Education Press
7 22 9787545534122 2017-11 Educational Picture Book of Love (8 volumes) Jilin Fine Arts Press China Jilin Fine Arts Press
28 23 9787545533897 2018-02 The best gift Janet Bingham United Kingdom Heaven & Earth Press
30 24 9787545534078 2018-02 Friend for mole Nancy Almo United States Heaven & Earth Press
Not Ranked 25 9787545534009 2018-02 International Master EQ Education Picture Book Museum. It’s nice to have a brother Susie Jan-Pierce United Kingdom Heaven & Earth Press
Not Ranked 26 9787545534047 2018-02 International Master EQ Education Picture Book Museum. Long live friendship Francesca Pirone Italy Heaven & Earth Press
Not Ranked 27 9787545533880 2018-02 International Master EQ Education Picture Book Museum. Love you forever Anahita Tamorian Iran Heaven & Earth Press
Not Ranked 28 9787545534054 2018-02 International Master EQ Education Picture Book Library. The Secret of Happiness David Conway United Kingdom Heaven & Earth Press
Not Ranked 29 9787545534061 2018-02 International Master EQ Education Picture Book Museum. Max’s Superhero Rocio Bernila Spain Heaven & Earth Press
Not Ranked 30 9787545533859 2018-02 International Master EQ Education Picture Book Museum. The best shepherd dog Pini Grylls United Kingdom Heaven & Earth Press

Foreign Illustrated Bestsellers, November 2020
October 2020 November 2020 ISBN Release Date Title (Translated) Author Author Nationality Chinese Publisher
1 1 9787533274269 2013-08 Listenable Enlightenment Picture Book (60 volumes) He Yao Ireland Tomorrow Publishing House
2 2 9787543464582 2007-05 Guess How Much I Love You Sam McBratney,Anita Jeram United Kingdom Hebei Education Press
3 3 9787543464575 2007-06 My Dad Anthony Browne United Kingdom Hebei Education Press
6 4 9787539189147 2014-01 My mum Anthony Browne Japan 21st Century Press Group
9 5 9787539135168 2006-10 MIYANISHI’s Tyrannosaurus Series Tatsuya Miyanishi France 21st Century Press Group
14 6 9787539135182 2006-10 Les P’tites Poules: I want to See the Sea Christian Jolibois,Christian Heinrich France 21st Century Press Group
12 7 9787539135151 2006-0 Les P’tites Poules: I Want to Have a Star Christian Jolibois,Christian Heinrich France 21st Century Press Group
13 8 9787539135175 2006-10 Les P’tites Poules: I will Get the Sun Back Christian Jolibois,Christian Heinrich France 21st Century Press Group
15 9 9787539135137 2006-10 Les P’tites Poules: I Want to Have a Little Brother Christian Jolibois,Christian Heinrich France 21st Century Press Group
16 10 9787539135144 2006-10 Les P’tites Poules: I Love the Black Kitty Christian Jolibois,Christian Heinrich France 21st Century Press Group
20 11 9787539168999 2011-10 Les P’tites Poules: I Can Beat the Monster Christian Jolibois,Christian Heinrich France 21st Century Press Group
17 12 9787539188607 2013-06 Les P’tites Poules: I Am Not a Coward Christian Jolibois,Christian Heinrich France 21st Century Press Group
21 13 9787539155937 2010-06 Les P’tites Poules: I Love the Saucepan Christian Jolibois,Christian Heinrich France 21st Century Press Group
18 14 9787539148076 2009-05 Les P’tites Poules: I Must Rescue B E Riot Christian Jolibois,Christian Heinrich France 21st Century Press Group
19 15 9787539144542 2009-05 Les P’tites Poules: I Like Her Very Much Christian Jolibois,Christian Heinrich France 21st Century Press Group
22 16 9787539141992 2008-09 Les P’tites Poules: I Don’t Want to Be Eaten Christian Jolibois,Christian Heinrich France 21st Century Press Group
8 17 9787543464636 2007-04 Les P’tites Poules: I’ll Find Langlang Christian Jolibois,Christian Heinrich United States Hebei Education Press
5 18 9787543470927 2008-10 No, David! David Shannon United States Hebei Education Press
2 19 9787543464582 2007-05 Guess How Much I Love You Sam McBratney,Anita Jeram United Kingdom Hebei Education Press
Not Ranked 20 9787543472259 2009-04 My Dad Anthony Browne United States Hebei Education Press
24 21 9787545533941 2018-02 David Gets in Trouble David Shannon United Kingdom Heaven & Earth Press
25 22 9787545534122 2018-02 Educational Picture Book of Love (8 volumes) Jilin Fine Arts Press United States Heaven & Earth Press
27 23 9787545533897 201802 The best gift Janet Bingham United Kingdom Heaven & Earth Press
28 24 9787545534078 2018-02 Friend for mole Nancy Almo Italy Heaven & Earth Press
Not Ranked 25 9787545534009 2018-02 International Master EQ Education Picture Book Museum. It’s nice to have a brother Susie Jan-Pierce Iran Heaven & Earth Press
Not Ranked 26 9787545534047 2018-02 International Master EQ Education Picture Book Museum. Long live friendship Francesca Pirone United Kingdom Heaven & Earth Press
29 27 9787545533880 2018-02 International Master EQ Education Picture Book Museum. Love you forever Anahita Tamorian Spain Heaven & Earth Press
30 28 9787545534054 2018-02 International Master EQ Education Picture Book Library. The Secret of Happiness David Conway United Kingdom Heaven & Earth Press
26 29 9787545534061 2018-02 International Master EQ Education Picture Book Museum. Max’s Superhero Rocio Bernila United Kingdom Heaven & Earth Press
Not Ranked 30 9787545533859 2011-03 International Master EQ Education Picture Book Museum. The best shepherd dog Pini Grylls United Kingdom Heaven & Earth Press

Foreign Author Fiction Bestsellers, November 2020
October 2020 November 2020 ISBN Release Date Title (Translated) Author Author nationality Chinese Publisher
3 1 9787208061644 201802 The Kite Runner (2018 Edition) Khaled Hosseini United States of America Shanghai People’s Publishing House
1 2 9787544291170 201708 One Hundred Years of Solitude (50th Anniversary Edition) Gabriel García Márquez Colombia Nan Hai Publishing Co.
2 3 9787544291163 201708 Journey Under the Midnight Sun (2017 Edition) Higashino Keigo Japan Nan Hai Publishing Co.
12 4 9787544766500 201701 To Kill a Mockingbird Harper Lee United States of America Yilin Press
16 5 9787506394864 201709 Sophie’s World (New Edition) Jostein Gaarder Norway The Writer’s Publishing House
5 6 9787544280662 202003 Silent Parade Higashino Keigo Japan Nan Hai Publishing Co.
6 7 9787544285148 201610 Malice Higashino Keigo Japan Nan Hai Publishing Co.
4 8 9787532776771 201803 Norwegian Wood (30th Anniversary Edition) Haruki Murakami Japan Shanghai Translation Publishing House
7 9 9787544267618 201406 The Devotion of Suspect X Higashino Keigo Japan Nan Hai Publishing Co.
10 10 9787544297059 202003 Love in the Time of Cholera (3 Million Sold Anniversary Edition) Gabriel García Márquez Colombia Nan Hai Publishing Co.
9 11 9787544291224 201708 After School (2017 Edition) Higashino Keigo Japan Nan Hai Publishing Co.
Not Ranked 12 9787539983295 201510 Foundation Isaac Asimov United States of America Jiangsu Literature & Art Press
18 13 9787544298995 202009 Miracles of the Namiya General Store (2020 Edition) Higashino Keigo Japan Nan Hai Publishing Co.
11 14 9787544299015 202005 The Camphor Keeper Higashino Keigo Japan Nan Hai Publishing Co.
15 15 9787544281102 201601 Newcomer Higashino Keigo Japan Nan Hai Publishing Co.
Not Ranked 16 9787201116693 201705 My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry Fredrik Backman Sweden Tianjin People’s Publishing House
14 17 9787544280020 201908 What Life You Want to Have Yoshino Genzaburo Japan Nan Hai Publishing Co.
13 18 9787544270878 201404 Miracles of the Namiya General Store Higashino Keigo Japan Nan Hai Publishing Co.
20 19 9787530217054 201712 The Alchemist Paulo Coelho Brazil Beijing October Art & Literature Publishing House
Not Ranked 20 9787544289443 202009 The Murder in Kairotei Higashino Keigo Japan Nan Hai Publishing Co.

Foreign Author Nonfiction Bestsellers, November 2020
October 2020 November 2020 ISBN Release Date Title (Translated) Author Author nationality Chinese Publisher
2 1 9787544276986 201910 Educated: A Memoir Tara Westover United States of America Nan Hai Publishing Co.
3 2 9787550268517 201607 Positive Discipline Jane Nelsen United States of America Beijing Union Publishing Co., Ltd.
Not Ranked 3 9787201161693 202008 Counselling for Toads: A Psychological Adventure Robert de Board Britain Tianjin People’s Publishing House
8 4 9787508687216 201808 Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the Way to Fight Global Poverty Abhijit V.Banerjee,Esther Duflo United States of America CITIC Publishing House Co.,Ltd
9 5 9787508095226 201809 Nonviolent Communication Marshall B.Rosenberg United States of America Huaxia Publishing House
12 6 9787508660752 201702 Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind Yuval Noah Harari Israel CITIC Publishing House Co.,Ltd
4 7 9787540489304 201901 Danshari Yamashita Eiko Japan Hunan Literature & Art Press
1 8 9787115536198 202005 Heart: Kazuo Inamori’s Philosophy of Life Kazuo Inamori Japan Posts & Telecommunications Publishing House
7 9 9787807639817 201307 Danshari Yamashita Eiko Japan Guangxi Science & Technology Press
10 10 9787540471194 201902 Relationship: Bridge to the Soul Christoper Moon Canada Hunan Literature & Art Press
6 11 9787520711531 201911 A Compass to Fulfillment Kazuo Inamori Japan Orient Press
17 12 9787547734315 201909 Life is Worth Living Nakamura Tsuneko Japan Beijing daily publishing house
13 13 9787220114045 201907 Rich Dad Poor Dad Robert T.Kiyosaki United States of America Sichuan People’s Publishing House
5 14 9787111635574 201910 The Working Methods of Kazuo Inamori Kazuo Inamori Japan China Machine Press
14 15 9787210096528 201709 Mindset: The New Psychology of Success Carol S.Dweck United States of America Jiangxi People’s Publishing House
Not Ranked 16 9787301109489 200610 A Global History: From Prehistory to the 21st Century (Vol.1) L. S. Stavrianos United States of America Peking University Press
16 17 9787508684031 201712 Principles Ray Dalio United States of America CITIC Publishing House Co.,Ltd
Not Ranked 18 9787508672069 201701 Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow Yuval Noah Harari Israel CITIC Publishing House Co.,Ltd
Not Ranked 19 9787301110522 200610 A Global History: From Prehistory to the 21st Century (Vol.2) L. S. Stavrianos United States of America Peking University Press
Not Ranked 20 9787508692098 201807 21 Lessons for the 21st Century Yuval Noah Harari Israel CITIC Publishing House Co.,Ltd

Notes on the Charts

OpenBook is a privately owned industry-data research firm based in Beijing. It functions somewhat as Nielsen and NDP do from the West, and Nielsen Book Research International has worked with OpenBook in Asian operations. With authoritative data and information resources, OpenBook is able to deliver consulting service to partners who would like to explore the Chinese book market and identify suitable partners.

Jiang Boyan LLC advises authors and right’s holders on global intellectual property and investment opportunities.

As of January 1, 2020, OpenBook monitored more than 10,000 online and offline bookstores.

The online channel includes digital retailers such as large self-operated online stores, platform stores, and small- and medium-sized stores. The offline channels include 4,495 bookstores. Coverage includes most of the state-owned and influential privately owned bookstores in 30 provinces, municipalities, and autonomous regions. Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Tibet are not included in OpenBook’s system.

In 2019, OpenBook tracked around 71.72 billion RMB in sales (US$10.1 billion).

Retail outlets include:

  • Traditional bookstores
  • Supermarkets
  • Campus bookstores
  • “Professional” stores, said to be small stores with a specific industrial or trade focus
  • Airport stores

In addition, OpenBook is drawing data from online bookstores of three main types:

  • The “Tmall” stores of Alibaba (Tmall is described as a marketplace of companies that create storefronts online to sell products including books)
  • The “JingDong” Stores of JD.com (similar to Tmall as a marketplace of both individual companies and bookstores operated by JD.com)
  • Ten independent online bookselling retailers

China has 500 or more publishers in operation today. Most of them, Trajectory CEO James Bryant clarifies, are government-owned. Private publishers are required to generate ISBNs for their titles from a publishing company that is government-owned—which, in other words, creates a system in which all ISBNs are in one way or another registered through government channels. The government approves each book published in China.


More China bestseller reports from Publishing Perspectives are here. And more from us on the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on international book publishing is here.

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair's 2019 International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson also has worked as a senior producer, editor, and anchor with CNN.com, CNN International, and CNN USA, and as an arts critic (National Critics Institute) with The Village Voice and Dallas Times Herald. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman.