China Bestsellers for February: The Year of the Ox

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Even as school reading lists and classic books held sway on the charts, some ‘online literature’ also showed its popularity on China’s February bestseller lists.

A calligrapher in the city of Foshan creates spring couplets for the holiday on February 8. Foshan is in the southeastern province of Guangdong on the South China Sea. Image – iStockphoto: NG Chiyui

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson
New Year Holiday Reading
With elementary- and middle-school reading in sway during winter vacation, February’s main lists were dominated, as at other times of year, by classics and recommended reading lists.

‘Foundation’

Like clockwork, Red Crag by Luo Guangbin and Yang Yiyan, Foundation by Isaac Asimov and Pioneering by Liu Qing, again entered the Top 10 titles on the list.

Nevertheless, our associates at Beijing OpenBook do report seeing two new books make their debuts on the fiction charts:

  • The Antidote by Wu Zhe (Guangdong Tourism Publishing House) at No. 29
  • White Olive Tree in two volumes by Jiu Yuexi (Baihuazhou Literature & Art Publishing House) at No. 30

Both of those titles are books that started as “online literature”—the digitally produced and read serials so popular in several Asian markets.

‘The Antidote’

And there was more energy behind originally online content, even in a month so heavily guided by curriculum reading, as evidenced in a healthy rise for Zhu Yi’s First Frost in just its second month on the lists to No. 7 from its original No. 17. Another of Zhu’s books, Hidden Love, moved nine places up to No. 10 from No. 19.

Among some of these works coming to print and a consolidated book format from their digital-serial start, White Olive Tree is a contemporary military-themed romance between peacekeepers and war journalists.

It was released as a book in February 2019 but didn’t immediately go to the charts.

‘White Olive Tree’

What put it into the bestseller channels was the news that the book is to be adapted for a television series.

Since that word in June, its sales have been building.

In nonfiction, the heavy presence of books themed around history and traditional Chinese culture is credited to the Spring Festival around the Lunar New Year (February 12) and the advent of the Year of the Ox.

Chen Lei’s 30 Minutes in Cartoon series of such themes (Hainan Publishing House)—always popular—held 10 spots on the nonfiction chart, on topics from Chinese history to Tang poems.

’30 Minutes of Song-Ci Poetry in Cartoon’

One, new on the chart at No. 27 (Shanghai Literature & Art Press), focuses on Ci poetry, a classical form in which rhythmic and tone patterns are based on music and usually used to express desire, and more. That’s 30 Minutes of Song-Ci Poetry in Cartoon.

Another in this genre of comics-based cultural reads is If History Were a Group of Cats: Sui and Tang Dynasties by Fei Zhu (Guangdong Tourism Publishing House).

Our associates note that during the holidays, many consumers also read self-help and management books, taking advantage of their time off to boost career and personal interests.

‘3D Picture Book: Chinese New Year’

And among illustrated books this time, the logical choice was Zhang Zhaozhi’s 3D Picture Book: Chinese New Year (Future Press), which entered the chart at No. 21. As you can see, it’s a richly published title, and it comes with interactive elements for young readers who get to open those beloved red envelopes, take photos of their families, hang red lanterns, and more.

Below, then, are OpenBook’s overall lists from festive February of bestsellers in fiction and nonfiction, followed by bestselling illustrated books, 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.

Traditional red lanterns in a park in Guangzhou on February 12 for the Lunar New Year. Guangzhou is the Chinese mainland’s third largest city after Beijing and Shanghai. Image – iStockphoto: Fanfan Meng

OpenBook’s Fiction Bestsellers, February 2021
January 2021 Ranking February 2021 Ranking ISBN Release Date Title (Translated) Author Chinese Publisher
12 1 9787020002207 1998-07 Dream of the Red Chamber Cao Xueqin People’s Literature Publishing House
1 2 9787500601593 2005-08 Red Crag Luo Guangbin,Yang Yiyan China Youth Press
3 3 9787540487645 2018-06 Moments We Shared Zhang Jiajia Hunan Literature & Art Press
4 4 9787536692930 2008-01 The Three-Body Problem Liu Cixin Chongqing Publishing House
6 5 9787229030933 2010-11 Death’s End Liu Cixin Chongqing Publishing House
5 6 9787536693968 2008-05 The Dark Forest Liu Cixin Chongqing Publishing House
17 7 9787559452788 2020-12 First Frost Zhu Yi Jiangsu Literature & Art Press
2 8 9787544291170 2017-08 One Hundred Years of Solitude (50th Anniversary Edition) Gabriel García Márquez Nan Hai Publishing Co.
8 9 9787539983295 2015-10 Foundation Isaac Asimov Jiangsu Literature & Art Press
19 10 9787555285298 2020-03 Hidden Love Zhu Yi Qingdao Publishing House
10 11 9787500680239 2009-01 Pioneering Liu Qing China Youth Press
7 12 9787530216781 2017-06 Ordinary Word (3 Volumes) Lu Yao Beijing October Art & Literature Publishing House
9 13 9787530216774 2017-07 Ordinary Word Lu Yao Beijing October Art & Literature Publishing House
11 14 9787506394864 2017-09 Sophie’s World (New Edition) Jostein Gaarder The Writer’s Publishing House
14 15 9787532178018 2020-11 Preparing for the Stage Li Dan Shanghai Literature & Art Press
16 16 9787544291163 2017-08 Journey Under the Midnight Sun (2017 Edition) Higashino Keigo Nan Hai Publishing Co.
15 17 9787020090006 2012-07 Fortress Besieged Qian Zhongshu People’s Literature Publishing House
Not Ranked 18 9787530215593 2017-06 To Live Yu hua Beijing October Art & Literature Publishing House
13 19 9787506365437 2010-06 To Live Yu hua The Writer’s Publishing House
22 20 9787544774635 2019-01 How the Steel Was Tempered (New Edition) Nikolai Alexeevich Ostrovsky Yilin Press
26 21 9787544285148 2016-10 Malice Higashino Keigo Nan Hai Publishing Co.
18 22 9787544766500 2017-01 To Kill a Mockingbird Harper Lee Yilin Press
30 23 9787514516906 2020-11 Beyond the Outline (2) Mu Gua Huang China Zhi Gong Press
20 24 9787208061644 2006-04 The Kite Runner (2018 Edition) Khaled Hosseini Shanghai People’s Publishing House
Not Ranked 25 9787514516890 2020-08 Beyond the Outline Mu Gua Huang China Zhi Gong Press
24 26 9787530219218 2019-02 Life is Like Ocean Mai Jia Beijing October Art & Literature Publishing House
Not Ranked 27 9787532776771 2018-03 Norwegian Wood (30th Anniversary Edition) Haruki Murakami Shanghai Translation Publishing House
Not Ranked 28 9787544267618 2014-06 The Devotion of Suspect X Higashino Keigo Nan Hai Publishing Co.
Not Ranked 29 9787557023225 2020-12 The Antidote Wu Zhe Guangdong Tourism Publishing House
Not Ranked 30 9787550032071 2019-02 White Olive Tree Jiu Yuexi Baihuazhou Literature & Art Publishing House

OpenBook’s Nonfiction Bestsellers, February 2021
January 2020 Ranking February 2021 Ranking ISBN Release Date Title (Translated) Author Chinese Publisher
1 1 9787544276986 2019-10 Educated: A Memoir Tara Westover Nan Hai Publishing Co.
5 2 9787539999883 2017-03 30 Minutes of Chinese History in Cartoon Chen Lei Jiangsu Literature & Art Press
3 3 9787549632725 2020-09 30 Minutes of Chinese History in Cartoon (5) Chen Lei Wenhui Publishing House
7 4 9787544387866 2019-09 30 Minutes of Chinese History in Cartoon (4) Chen Lei Hainan Publishing House
9 5 9787544382052 2018-05 30 Minutes of Chinese History in Cartoon (3) Chen Lei Hainan Publishing House
8 6 9787544382045 2018-05 30 Minutes of Chinese History in Cartoon (2) Chen Lei Hainan Publishing House
2 7 9787544771627 2018-03 Fu Lei’s Letters for Home (2018 Edition) (Hardcover) Fu Lei,Fu Min Yilin Press
12 8 9787559418111 2018-04 30 Minutes of World History in Cartoon Chen Lei Jiangsu Literature & Art Press
6 9 9787508095226 2018-09 Nonviolent Communication Marshall B.Rosenberg Huaxia Publishing House
10 10 9787540489304 2019-01 Danshari Yamashita Eiko Hunan Literature & Art Press
16 11 9787559640246 2020-04 Gag Reel (Signature Edition) Li Dan Beijing Union Publishing Co., Ltd.
4 12 9787550268517 2016-07 Positive Discipline Jane Nelsen Beijing Union Publishing Co., Ltd.
17 13 9787508689586 2018-07 Economics Lecture Notes Xue Zhaofeng CITIC Publishing House Co.,Ltd
13 14 9787508660752 2017-02 Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind Yuval Noah Harari CITIC Publishing House Co.,Ltd
11 15 9787557023041 2020-10 If History were a Group of Cats: Sui and Tang Dynasty Fei Zhi Guangdong Tourism Publishing House
15 16 9787559639134 2020-06 The Rise of China Jin Yinan Beijing Union Publishing Co., Ltd.
18 17 9787540487850 2018-08 Guo Degang on Chinese Cultural History Guo Degang Hunan Literature & Art Press
19 18 9787540484880 2018-01 The Gay Genius: The Life and Times of Su Tungpo (Commemorative Edition) Lin Yutang Hunan Literature & Art Press
22 19 9787544389372 2019-11 30 Minutes of Chinese History in Cartoon: Traditional Chinese Festivals Chen Lei Hainan Publishing House
20 20 9787201088945 2014-12 No More Than Skins Cai Chongda Tianjin People’s Publishing House
21 21 9787108063106 2018-06 We Three (Third Edition) Yang Jiang SDX Joint Publishing Company
14 22 9787544771610 2018-03 Fu Lei’s Letters for Home (2018 Edition)(Paperback) Fu Lei,Fu Min Yilin Press
25 23 9787559620125 2018-05 Genius on the Left, Lunatic on the Right (Full Version)(New Edition) Gao Ming Beijing Union Publishing Co., Ltd.
23 24 9787559436184 2019-05 30 Minutes of Tang Poetry in Cartoon Chen Lei Jiangsu Literature & Art Press
26 25 9787559435552 2019-09 30 Minutes of Tang Poetry in Cartoon (2) Chen Lei Jiangsu Literature & Art Press
27 26 9787532174997 2020-03 30 Minutes of Song Poetry in Cartoon Chen Lei Shanghai Literature & Art Press
Not Ranked 27 9787532177172 2020-08 30 Minutes of Song-Ci Poetry in Cartoon (2) Chen Lei Shanghai Literature & Art Press
29 28 9787535732309 2001-11 A Brief History of Time Stephen W.Hawking Hunan Science & Technology Press
24 29 9787530214787 2017-04 The Stories of the Sahara Echo Beijing October Art & Literature Publishing House
Not Ranked 30 9787521708554 2019-09 Style Wu Jun CITIC Publishing House Co.,Ltd

OpenBook’s Illustrated Bestsellers, January 2021
January 2021 February 2021 ISBN Release Date Title (Translated) Author Author Nationality Chinese Publisher
1 1 9787543464582 2007-05 My Dad Anthony Browne United Kingdom Hebei Education Press
2 2 9787543464575 2007-06 My Mum Anthony Browne United Kingdom Hebei Education Press
4 3 9787539135168 2006-10 Les Pétites Poules: I want to See the Sea Christian Jolibois, Christian Heinrich France 21st Century Press Group
19 4 9787549253876 2018-08 Listenable Enlightenment Picture Book (60 volumes) He Yao China Chang Jiang Press
7 5 9787539135151 2006-10 Les Pétites Poules: I will Get the Sun Back Christian Jolibois, Christian Heinrich France 21st Century Press Group
6 6 9787539135182 2006-10 Les Pétites Poules: I Want to Have a Star Christian Jolibois, Christian Heinrich France 21st Century Press Group
9 7 9787539135175 2006-10 Les Pétites Poules: I Want to Have a Little Brother Christian Jolibois, Christian Heinrich France 21st Century Press Group
8 8 9787539135137 2006-10 Les Pétites Poules: I Love the Black Kitty Christian Jolibois, Christian Heinrich France 21st Century Press Group
10 9 9787539168999 2011-10 Les Pétites Poules: I Am Not a Coward Christian Jolibois, Christian Heinrich France 21st Century Press Group
11 10 9787539135144 2006-10 Les Pétites Poules: I Can Beat the Monster Christian Jolibois, Christian Heinrich France 21st Century Press Group
14 11 9787539188607 2013-06 Les Pétites Poules: I Love the Saucepan Christian Jolibois, Christian Heinrich France 21st Century Press Group
16 12 9787539155937 2010-06 Les Pétites Poules: I Must Rescue B E Riot Christian Jolibois, Christian Heinrich France 21st Century Press Group
12 13 9787539141992 2008-09 Les Pétites Poules: I’ll Find Langlang Christian Jolibois, Christian Heinrich France 21st Century Press Group
15 14 9787539144542 2009-05 Les Pétites Poules: I Don’t Want to Be Eaten Christian Jolibois, Christian Heinrich France 21st Century Press Group
13 15 9787539148076 2009-05 Les Pétites Poules: I Like Her Very Much Christian Jolibois, Christian Heinrich France 21st Century Press Group
17 16 9787539189147 2014-01 MIYANISHI’s Tyrannosaurus Series Tatsuya Miyanishi Japan 21st Century Press Group
3 17 9787533274269 2013-08 Guess How Much I Love You Sam McBratney, Anita Jeram Ireland Tomorrow Publishing House
Not Ranked 18 9787571801472 2020-01 Children’s Adversity Quotient Training Picture Book (12 volumes) Chen Jun Hong China Hebei Fine Arts Press
21 19 9787533274245 2013-07 The Runaway Bunny Margaret Wise Brown, Clement Hrud United States Tomorrow Publishing House
3 20 9787533274269 2013-08 Guess How Much I Love You Sam McBratney,Anita Jeram Ireland Tomorrow Publishing House
Not Ranked 21 9787541740947 2011-10 3D picture book. Chinese New Year Zhang Zhaozhi, etc China Future Press
22 22 9787543464636 2007-04 No, David! David Shannon United States Hebei Education Press
24 23 9787559633507 2019-08 Best Gift in the World Lai Ma China Taiwan Region Beijing Union Publishing Co., Ltd.
18 24 9787533273460 2013-05 Something From Nothing Phoebe Gilman Canada Tomorrow Publishing House
23 25 9787533255879 2008-03 New Year’s Reunion Yu Liqiong, Zhu Chengliang China Tomorrow Publishing House
20 26 9787559015266 2017-06 I Have Friendship to Rent David Shannon China Taiwan Region Xinjiang Children and Youth Publishing House
25 27 9787543470927 2008-10 David Goes to School David Shannon United States Hebei Education Press
29 28 9787556012657 2012-09 Little Chick QiuQiu Growing Up Picture Book Series. Good night, Little Chick QiuQiu Satoshi Iriyama Japan Changjiang Children’s Press
27 29 9787556012671 2012-09 Little Chick QiuQiu Growing Up Picture Book Series. Little Chick QiuQiu Helping Mother Satoshi Iriyama Japan Changjiang Children’s Press
28 30 9787556012664 2012-09 Little Chick QiuQiu Growing Up Picture Book Series. Little Chick QiuQiu Hide and Seek! Satoshi Iriyama Japan Changjiang Children’s Press

Foreign Illustrated Bestsellers, January 2021
January 2021 February 2021 ISBN Release Date Title (Translated) Author Author Nationality Chinese Publisher
1 1 9787543464582 2007-05 My Dad Anthony Browne United Kingdom Hebei Education Press
2 2 9787543464575 2007-06 My mum Anthony Browne United Kingdom Hebei Education Press
4 3 9787539135168 2006-10 Les Pétites Poules: I want to See the Sea Christian Jolibois,Christian Heinrich France 21st Century Press Group
7 4 9787539135151 2006-10 Les Pétites Poules: I will Get the Sun Back Christian Jolibois,Christian Heinrich France 21st Century Press Group
6 5 9787539135182 2006-10 Les Pétites Poules: I Want to Have a Star Christian Jolibois,Christian Heinrich France 21st Century Press Group
9 6 9787539135175 2006-10 Les Pétites Poules: I Want to Have a Little Brother Christian Jolibois,Christian Heinrich France 21st Century Press Group
8 7 9787539135137 2006-10 Les Pétites Poules: I Love the Black Kitty Christian Jolibois,Christian Heinrich France 21st Century Press Group
10 8 9787539168999 2011-10 Les Pétites Poules: I Am Not a Coward Christian Jolibois,Christian Heinrich France 21st Century Press Group
11 9 9787539135144 2006-10 Les Pétites Poules: I Can Beat the Monster Christian Jolibois,Christian Heinrich France 21st Century Press Group
14 10 9787539188607 2013-06 Les Pétites Poules: I Love the Saucepan Christian Jolibois,Christian Heinrich France 21st Century Press Group
16 11 9787539155937 2010-06 Les Pétites Poules: I Must Rescue B E Riot Christian Jolibois,Christian Heinrich France 21st Century Press Group
12 12 9787539141992 2008-09 Les Pétites Poules: I’ll Find Langlang Christian Jolibois,Christian Heinrich France 21st Century Press Group
15 13 9787539144542 2009-05 Les Pétites Poules: I Don’t Want to Be Eaten Christian Jolibois,Christian Heinrich France 21st Century Press Group
13 14 9787539148076 2009-05 Les Pétites Poules: I Like Her Very Much Christian Jolibois,Christian Heinrich France 21st Century Press Group
17 15 9787539189147 2014-01 MIYANISHI’s Tyrannosaurus Series Tatsuya Miyanishi Japan 21st Century Press Group
3 16 9787533274269 2013-08 Guess How Much I Love You Sam McBratney,Anita Jeram Ireland Tomorrow Publishing House
19 17 9787533274245 2013-07 The Runaway Bunny Margaret Wise Brown,Clement Hrud United States Tomorrow Publishing House
3 18 9787533274269 2013-08 Guess How Much I Love You Sam McBratney,Anita Jeram Ireland Tomorrow Publishing House
20 19 9787543464636 2007-04 No, David! David Shannon United States Hebei Education Press
18 20 9787533273460 2013-05 Something from nothing Phoebe Gilman Canada Tomorrow Publishing House
21 21 9787543470927 2008-10 David Goes to School David Shannon United States Hebei Education Press
24 22 9787556012657 2012-09 Little Chick QiuQiu Growing Up Picture Book Series. Good night, Little Chick QiuQiu Satoshi Iriyama Japan Changjiang Children’s Press
22 23 9787556012671 2012-09 Little Chick QiuQiu Growing Up Picture Book Series. Little Chick QiuQiu Helping Mother Satoshi Iriyama Japan Changjiang Children’s Press
23 24 9787556012664 2012-09 Little Chick QiuQiu Growing Up Picture Book Series. Little Chick QiuQiu Hide and Seek! Satoshi Iriyama Japan Changjiang Children’s Press
26 25 9787556012640 2012-09 Little Chick QiuQiu Growing Up Picture Book Series. Where is Mom? Satoshi Iriyama Japan Changjiang Children’s Press
25 26 9787556012633 2012-09 Little Chick QiuQiu Growing Up Picture Book Series. Thank you! Satoshi Iriyama Japan Changjiang Children’s Press
27 27 9787556012626 2012-09 Little Chick QiuQiu Growing Up Picture Book Series. Good Friends Satoshi Iriyama Japan Changjiang Children’s Press
30 28 9787545534122 2018-02 Friend for Mole Nancy Almo United States Heaven & Earth Press
29 29 9787545533897 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 30 9787545534061 2018-02 International Master EQ Education Picture Book Gallery. The polite little bear Peter Bentley United Kingdom Heaven & Earth Press

Foreign Author Fiction Bestsellers, January 2021
Janaury 2021 Ranking February 2021 Ranking ISBN Release Date Title (Translated) Author Author nationality Chinese Publisher
1 1 9787544291170 2017-08 One Hundred Years of Solitude (50th Anniversary Edition) Gabriel García Márquez Colombia Nan Hai Publishing Co.
2 2 9787539983295 2015-10 Foundation Isaac Asimov United States Jiangsu Literature & Art Press
3 3 9787506394864 2017-09 Sophie’s World (New Edition) Jostein Gaarder Norway The Writer’s Publishing House
4 4 9787544291163 2017-08 Journey Under the Midnight Sun (2017 Edition) Higashino Keigo Japan Nan Hai Publishing Co.
7 5 9787544774635 2019-01 How the Steel Was Tempered (New Edition) Nikolai Alexeevich Ostrovsky Russia Yilin Press
8 6 9787544285148 2016-10 Malice Higashino Keigo Japan Nan Hai Publishing Co.
5 7 9787544766500 2017-01 To Kill a Mockingbird Harper Lee United States Yilin Press
6 8 9787208061644 2018-02 The Kite Runner (2018 Edition) Khaled Hosseini United States Shanghai People’s Publishing House
14 9 9787532776771 2018-03 Norwegian Wood (30th Anniversary Edition) Haruki Murakami Japan Shanghai Translation Publishing House
11 10 9787544267618 2014-06 The Devotion of Suspect X Higashino Keigo Japan Nan Hai Publishing Co.
10 11 9787544775717 2019-06 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (New Edition) Jules Verne France Yilin Press
15 12 9787544291224 2017-08 After School (2017 Edition) Higashino Keigo Japan Nan Hai Publishing Co.
9 13 9787544298995 2020-09 Miracles of the Namiya General Store (2020 Edition) Higashino Keigo Japan Nan Hai Publishing Co.
13 14 9787544280662 2020-03 Silent Parade Higashino Keigo Japan Nan Hai Publishing Co.
17 15 9787544281102 2016-01 Newcomer Higashino Keigo Japan Nan Hai Publishing Co.
12 16 9787544297059 2020-03 Love in the Time of Cholera (3 Million Sold Anniversary Edition) Gabriel García Márquez Colombia Nan Hai Publishing Co.
19 17 9787532175512 2020-05 13 Steps Kazuaki Takano Japan Shanghai Literature & Art Press
18 18 9787544774666 2018-12 Jane Eyre Charlotte Bront? United Kingdom Yilin Press
16 19 9787555910749 2020-12 The Silent Patient Alex Michaelides United Kingdom Henan Literature & Art Press
20 20 9787201116693 2017-05 My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry Fredrik Backman Sweden Tianjin People’s Publishing House

Foreign Author Nonfiction Bestsellers, January 2021
January 2021 Ranking February 2021 Ranking ISBN Release Date Title (Translated) Author Author nationality Chinese Publisher
1 1 9787544276986 2019-10 Educated: A Memoir Tara Westover United States Nan Hai Publishing Co.
2 2 9787201161693 2020-08 Counselling for Toads: A Psychological Adventure Robert de Board United Kingdom Tianjin People’s Publishing House
9 3 9787508687216 2018-08 Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the Way to Fight Global Poverty Abhijit V.Banerjee,Esther Duflo United States CITIC Publishing House Co.,Ltd
4 4 9787508095226 2018-09 Nonviolent Communication Marshall B.Rosenberg United States Huaxia Publishing House
3 5 9787550268517 2016-07 Positive Discipline Jane Nelsen United States Beijing Union Publishing Co., Ltd.
5 6 9787540489304 2019-01 Danshari Yamashita Eiko Japan Hunan Literature & Art Press
13 7 9787540471194 2019-02 Relationship: Bridge to the Soul Christoper Moon Canada Hunan Literature & Art Press
12 8 9787508660752 2017-02 Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind Yuval Noah Harari Israel CITIC Publishing House Co.,Ltd
16 9 9787508684031 2017-12 Principles Ray Dalio United States CITIC Publishing House Co.,Ltd
14 10 9787547734315 2019-09 Life is Worth Living Nakamura Tsuneko Japan Beijing daily publishing house
Not Ranked 11 9787535732309 2001-11 A Brief History of Time Stephen W.Hawking Britain Hunan Science & Technology Press
Not Ranked 12 9787536093171 2020-12 Abandon the Cat: When Talking about My Father Haruki Murakami Japan Flower City Press
Not Ranked 13 9787201088822 2014-09 How to Win Friends & Influence People Dale Carnegie United States Tianjin People’s Publishing House
Not Ranked 14 9787301269381 2019-09 A Global History: From Prehistory to 21ST Century L. S. Stavrianos United States Peking University Press
Not Ranked 15 9787301270271 2019-09 A Global History: From Prehistory to 21ST Century L. S. Stavrianos United States Peking University Press
Not Ranked 16 9787508672069 2017-01 Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow Yuval Noah Harari Israel CITIC Publishing House Co.,Ltd
Not Ranked 17 9787020116133 2017-06 Red Star Over China Edgar Snow United States People’s Literature Publishing House
Not Ranked 18 9787508692098 2018-07 21 Lessons for the 21st Century Yuval Noah Harari Israel CITIC Publishing House Co.,Ltd
Not Ranked 19 9787544768511 2017-06 Three Days to See (New Edition) Helen Keller United States Yilin Press
Not Ranked 20 9787210094906 2017-07 The Scroll Marked Dale Carnegie,Yang Yi United States Jiangxi People’s Publishing House

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, Jiang Boyan 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.

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