China Bestsellers in April: Waiting for New ‘Online Lit’

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Nonfiction showed some strength, online literature was less buoyant in fiction, and Ultraman held his lead in China’s bestsellers in April.

Motorcycle traffic, June 18, in hard-hit Shanghai where some lockdowns and quarantines continue. As Publishing Perspectives readers know, the Shanghai International Book Fair announced on Friday (June 17) a new delay for their dates, from July to November. Image – Getty iStockphoto: Documentary

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

See also: Rights Edition: Shanghai International Children’s Book Fair Postpones Again

Nonfiction Energized by World Book Day
We continue today to step through the spring months with our China Bestsellers series, in which we’re assisted by the research team at Beijing OpenBook.

‘Guns, Germs, and Steel’

As you’ll remember, in March we saw a trend that’s unusual for that month in the Chinese market: the still-ongoing coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic spread-mitigation measures taken by the Chinese government had meant a delay in some educational systems’ operations. That, in turn, had caused the March bestseller charts to remain more focused on what the readership considers its relatively contemporary “classics,” rather than being driven by classroom reading lists that normally impact the March lists.

In April, we see a relatively stable set of lists, and some retail energy around April 23 in World Book Day—which isn’t a moment we normally associate as readily with the Chinese market as we do with Western markets.

For example, OpenBook points to the Pulitzer Prize-winning Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies by Jared Diamond (CITIC Publishing House Co.) in April at No. 11 on OpenBook’s nonfiction list. It held that position, we’re told, amid current events—not only the pandemic responses being felt so painfully by many in China’s lockdowns but also by those watching the unprovoked Russian assault on Ukraine by Vladimir Putin.

‘The Cloud Collector’s Handbook’

Bookstores ran discounts around World Book Day, which helped spur what OpenBook tracked as a significant upturn in sales for Guns, Germs, and Steel.

Those ubiquitous series of historical humor and cartooning also lost no fascination for a market that’s now been fascinated by them for many months. Both the “If History were a Group of Cats” series and the “30 Minutes in Comics” series performed well in April.

The “Cats” series saw seven titles in the Top 30 retail market; nine titles in the Top 30 in the print channel; and six titles in the Top 30 in digital retail channels.”

‘Inviting Books Into Your Life’

Nevertheless, the leading three entries on the nonfiction list in April were:

  • Close to The Buddha by Khenpo Sherab Zangpo Rinpoche, ranked No. 1 (Hainan Publishing House)
  • The Courage to Be Disliked by Ichiro Kishimi, ranked No. 2, ranked (China Machine Press)
  • Yi Ching is Really to Understand by Zeng Shiqiang, ranked No. 3 ( Shaanxi Normal University Press)

Two books were new to the nonfiction list in April, and the first has a title guaranteed to make reading fans go weak at the knees:

  • Inviting Books into Your Life by Luo Zhenyu, ranked No. 10 (New Star Press Co.)
  • The Cloud Collector’s Handbook by Gavin Pretor-Pinney, ranked No. 28 (Yilin Press)
Fiction: ‘Online Literature’ and ‘Ultraman’ at 55

As popular as it has been, the popularity of books that began life as online literature has subsided since January. In a month-over-month comparison, just two titles that originated as online literature were in the Top 30 in April 2022, while in April 2021, there were seven such serials-to-books entering the same chart at this point.

‘Ultraman,’ the 55th-anniversary photo book, has topped the children’s bestsellers chart for two months

OpenBook’s specialists caution, however, that the decrease in this year’s showing of “born online” titles doesn’t signal that the interest in this type of work has faltered in the Chinese market. Instead, the slower sales of such books have to do with timing. As such titles seemed to crest in popularity last year, the consumer base was focused on titles published (as books, after the serial stage) in 2019 and 2020. And that means that by this April, regular fans of this kind of book had made the rounds and picked up their copies of the leading titles in the field. New titles should renew the fandom’s fervor.

As our associate Wendy Pan at OpenBook puts it, the key sales time frame is “at the beginning of the sale when online literature can rely on fans who have followed installments online to quickly drive a book’s uptake. However, that overall ready audience for a print edition is relatively fixed” in size. As an example, she points to the target consumers for romantic stories, which are “concentrated in young women from middle school to university”—certainly a pattern seen in many world publishing markets. “So there’s a big difference in the continuity of sales between online literature and traditional literature that can target to all readers,” Pan says.

Indeed, a large part of the online-literature realm tracked by OpenBook is in themes of campus life and fantasy. But there’s some indication that the young-female readership traditionally targeted by this work is also responding to stories of e-sports (video gaming), military life, and suspense–as well as “reasoning.”

But if you’d like to see a perfectly catapult into the top spot on a Chinese list, look at the Children’s Books chart below for Tsuburaya Productions’ Ultraman Series Photo Book, a 55th-anniversary publication from Anhui Juvenile and Children’s Publishing House. It entered at No. 1 in March and held on there, rock-solid, in April.

Below, then, are OpenBook’s overall lists from April of bestsellers in fiction, nonfiction, and children’s books, 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.

Visiting relatives in quarantine in Shanghai, June 15. Image – Getty iStockphoto: Documentary

OpenBook’s Fiction Bestsellers, April 2022
March 2022 Ranking April 2022 Ranking ISBN Release Date Title (Translated) Author Chinese Publisher
1 1 9787506331746 2005-05 Distant Savior Dou Dou The Writer’s Publishing House
3 2 9787536692930 2008-01 The Three-Body Problem Liu Cixin Chongqing Publishing House
4 3 9787536693968 2008-05 The Dark Forest Liu Cixin Chongqing Publishing House
5 4 9787229030933 2010-11 Death’s End Liu Cixin Chongqing Publishing House
9 5 9787544291170 2017-08 One Hundred Years of Solitude (50th Anniversary Edition) Gabriel García Márquez Nan Hai Publishing Co.
6 6 9787500601593 2005-08 Red Crag Luo Guangbin, Yang Yiyan China Youth Press
2 7 9787515350264 2018-01 In the World (3 Volumes) Liang Xiaosheng China Youth Press
11 8 9787540487645 2018-06 Moments We Shared Zhang Jiajia Hunan Literature & Art Press
10 9 9787544766500 2017-01 To Kill a Mockingbird Harper Lee Yilin Press
17 10 9787530221532 2021-10 To Live (2021 Edition) Yu hua Beijing October Art & Literature Publishing House
8 11 9787020002207 1998-07 Dream of the Red Chamber Cao Xueqin People’s Literature Publishing House
15 12 9787530219218 2019-02 A Wavy Life Mai Jia Beijing October Art & Literature Publishing House
Not Ranked 13 9787506344791 2008-12 Street Wizards Feng Jicai The Writer’s Publishing House
13 14 9787533966102 2021-12 Life and Death are Wearing Me Out Mo Yan Zhejiang Literature & Art Press
Not Ranked 15 9787544298995 2020-09 Miracles of the Namiya General Store (2020 Edition) Keigo Higashino Nan Hai Publishing Co.
18 16 9787530221396 2021-06 Ordinary Word (3 Volumes) (2021 Edition) Lu Yao Beijing October Art & Literature Publishing House
24 17 9787521200836 2018-08 Thiaoouba Prophecy Michael Desmarquet The Writer’s Publishing House
16 18 9787544291163 2017-08 Journey Under the Midnight Sun (2017 Edition) Keigo Higashino Nan Hai Publishing Co.
7 19 9787506368698 2013-06 The World Under the Sky Dou Dou The Writer’s Publishing House
22 20 9787530221099 2021-02 Wencheng Yu hua Beijing October Art & Literature Publishing House
Not Ranked 21 9787540264635 2022-04 Agaras Desharow Ya Sheng Beijing Yanshan Publishing House
20 22 9787532175512 2020-05 13 Steps Kazuaki Takano Shanghai Literature & Art Press
Not Ranked 23 9787559614636 2017-12 Fang Si-Qi’s First Love Paradise Lin Yihan Beijing Union Publishing Co., Ltd.
Not Ranked 24 9787521208740 2020-01 Street Wizards (3) Feng Jicai The Writer’s Publishing House
19 25 9787020090006 2012-07 Fortress Besieged Qian Zhongshu People’s Literature Publishing House
Not Ranked 26 9787506384209 2015-11 Street Wizards (2) Feng Jicai The Writer’s Publishing House
14 27 9787506394314 2017-04 White Deer Plain Chen Zhongshi The Writer’s Publishing House
28 28 9787572602825 2021-08 Always Have, Always Will Zhang Jiajia Hunan Literature & Art Press
Not Ranked 29 9787020164776 2020-07 A Late Bloomer Mo Yan People’s Literature Publishing House
Not Ranked 30 9787208061644 2006-04 The Kite Runner Khaled Hosseini Shanghai People’s Publishing House

OpenBook’s Nonfiction Bestsellers, April 2022
March 2022 Ranking April 2022 Ranking ISBN Release Date Title (Translated) Author Chinese Publisher
2 1 9787544334792 2011-01 Close to The Buddha Khenpo Sherab Zangpo Rinpoche Hainan Publishing House
4 2 9787111495482 2015-04 The Courage to Be Disliked Ichiro Kishimi China Machine Press
1 3 9787561346259 2009-05 Yi Ching is Really to Understand Zeng Shiqiang Shaanxi Normal University Press
3 4 9787201161693 2020-08 Counselling for Toads: A Psychological Adventure Robert de Board Tianjin People’s Publishing House
7 5 9787521733679 2021-09 The Most Tender Upbringing: Be a Gentle but Steadfast Parent Oh Eun-young CITIC Publishing House Co.,Ltd
6 6 9787521603774 2019-08 The Faith as Premise of Freedom Luo Xiang China Legal Publishing House
8 7 9787111691020 2021-09 The Underlying Logic: How to See the Essence of Things Liu Run China Machine Press
Not Ranked 8 9787511714152 2012-08 How to Talk so Teens will Listen and Listen so Teens will Talk Adele Faber, Elaine Mazlish Central Compilation & Translation Press
11 9 9787208171336 2021-08 In the Affair: Chinese Government and Economic Development Lan Xiaohuan Shanghai People’s Publishing House
Not Ranked 10 9787513348867 2022-04 Inviting Books into Your Life Luo Zhenyu New Star Press Co.Ltd
23 11 9787521736816 2022-01 Guns, Germs, and Steel Jared Diamond CITIC Publishing House Co., Ltd
5 12 9787222204331 2021-11 Details of Law Luo Xiang Yunnan People’s Publishing House
10 13 9787557025847 2021-11 If History were a Group of Cats: Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Fei Zhi Guangdong Tourism Publishing House
12 14 9787550268517 2016-07 Positive Discipline Jane Nelsen Beijing Union Publishing Co., Ltd.
9 15 9787544276986 2019-10 Educated: A Memoir Tara Westover Nan Hai Publishing Co.
14 16 9787550043657 2021-11 Speechless Time Answers Everything Ji Xianlin Baihuazhou Literature & Art Publishing House
24 17 9787559330260 2018-06 If History were a Group of Cats: The Spring-autumn and Warring State Period Fei Zhi Heilongjiang Fine Arts Press
15 18 9787559313652 2017-09 If History were a Group of Cats: Xia, Shang and Western Zhou Dynasty Fei Zhi Heilongjiang Fine Arts Press
Not Ranked 19 9787553734132 2016-03 Tang Tou Ge Jue Wang Ang, Xin Bin, Wu Jiankun Jiangsu Science & Technology Press
20 20 9787539999883 2017-03 30 Minutes of Chinese History in Cartoon Chen Lei Jiangsu Literature & Art Press
22 21 9787549632725 2020-09 30 Minutes of Chinese History in Cartoon (5) Chen Lei Wenhui Publishing House
Not Ranked 22 9787557017477 2019-02 If History were a Group of Cats: Qin, Chu, Western Han and Eastern Han Dynasty Fei Zhi Guangdong Tourism Publishing House
25 23 9787544387866 2019-09 30 Minutes of Chinese History in Cartoon (4) Chen Lei Hainan Publishing House
29 24 9787544382045 2018-05 30 Minutes of Chinese History in Cartoon (2) Chen Lei Hainan Publishing House
30 25 9787544382052 2018-05 30 Minutes of Chinese History in Cartoon (3) Chen Lei Hainan Publishing House
21 26 9787557024413 2021-05 If History were a Group of Cats: Prosperity of the Tang Dynasty Fei Zhi Guangdong Tourism Publishing House
Not Ranked 27 9787557020149 2019-09 If History were a Group of Cats: Three Kingdoms Fei Zhi Guangdong Tourism Publishing House
Not Ranked 28 9787544771344 2018-03 The Cloud Collector’s Handbook Gavin Pretor-Pinney Yilin Press
Not Ranked 29 9787557023041 2020-10 If History were a Group of Cats: Sui and Tang Dynasty Fei Zhi Guangdong Tourism Publishing House
16 30 9787010009223 1998-07 Mao’s Selected Works (vol.1) Mao Zhedong People’s Publishing House

OpenBook’s Children’s Bestsellers, April 2022
March 2022 Ranking April 2022 Ranking ISBN Release Date Title (Translated) Author Chinese Publisher
1 1 9787570711888 2021-12 Ultraman Series Photo Book for 55th Anniversary Tsuburaya Productions Anhui Juvenile and Children’s Publishing House
Not Ranked 2 9787566720719 2021-06 Hundred Thousand Whys (Story Version) (8 volumes) Ling Lan Ma Ma Hunan University Press
Not Ranked 3 9787568290685 2020-11 The Classic of Mountains and Rivers for Kids Lan Mengxing,He Weifang, Xu Pingping Beijing Institute of Technology Press
2 4 9787521726473 2020-12 A Dog Named Money Bodo Schafer CITIC Publishing House Co.,Ltd
19 5 9787559621337 2019-04 Butt Detective: Detective and the Fraud Troll Beijing Union Publishing Co., Ltd.
13 6 9787550286122 2016-11 Butt Detective: Disappeared Popular Dessert Troll Beijing Union Publishing Co., Ltd.
14 7 9787550286238 2016-11 Butt Detective: Look for the Rainbow Diamond Troll Beijing Union Publishing Co., Ltd.
18 8 9787559608390 2018-01 Butt Detective: The Criminal Appears Troll Beijing Union Publishing Co., Ltd.
16 9 9787550286214 2016-11 Butt Detective: The Missing Lunch Box Troll Beijing Union Publishing Co., Ltd.
15 10 9787550286085 2016-11 Butt Detective: The Big Crisis of Small Director Troll Beijing Union Publishing Co., Ltd.
Not Ranked 11 9787511052568 2020-08 Butt Detective: Snow Monster in Deep Mountain Troll Dolphin Press
Not Ranked 12 9787534633362 2005-05 Bronze and Sunflower Cao Wenxuan Jiangsu Juvenile and Children’s Publishing House
5 13 9787536574366 2016-01 Mi Xiaoquan’s Brain-teaser: Stratego Bei Mao Sichuan Juvenile and Children’s Publishing House
Not Ranked 14 9787020144587 2018-10 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows J.K. Rowling People’s Literature Publishing House
4 15 9787536574397 2016-01 Mi Xiaoquan’s Brain-teaser: Clever Little Prodigy Bei Mao Sichuan Juvenile and Children’s Publishing House
6 16 9787536574380 2016-01 Mi Xiaoquan’s Brain-teaser: Who’s the Smart Guy? Bei Mao Sichuan Juvenile and Children’s Publishing House
7 17 9787536574373 2016-01 Mi Xiaoquan’s Brain-teaser: The Great Adventure of the Castle Bei Mao Sichuan Juvenile and Children’s Publishing House
8 18 9787536587694 2018-04 Mi Xiaoquan School Experience: I am a Pupil Bei Mao Sichuan Juvenile and Children’s Publishing House
Not Ranked 19 9787566716408 2019-05 Become A Better You (with Audio) (10 volumes) Cai Xiaobai Hunan University Press
9 20 9787536587724 2018-04 Mi Xiaoquan School Experience: Look at This Family Bei Mao Sichuan Juvenile and Children’s Publishing House
10 21 9787536587717 2018-04 Mi Xiaoquan School Experience: A Dog Called Rat Bei Mao Sichuan Juvenile and Children’s Publishing House
11 22 9787536587700 2018-04 Mi Xiaoquan School Experience: My Good Friend Tie Tou Bei Mao Sichuan Juvenile and Children’s Publishing House
26 23 9787539135168 2006-10 Les P’tites Poules: I Want to See the Sea Christian Jolibois, Christian Heinrich 21st Century Press Group
Not Ranked 24 9787556859993 2022-03 The Story of Xiao Hai and Three River Source Region Yang Zhijun 21st Century Press Group
Not Ranked 25 9787521734416 2021-12 Kira and the Secret of the Donut Bodo Schafer CITIC Publishing House Co.,Ltd
30 26 9787539135182 2006-10 Les P’tites Poules: I Want to Have a Star Christian Jolibois, Christian Heinrich 21st Century Press Group
Not Ranked 27 9787539188607 2013-06 Les P’tites Poules: I Love the Saucepan Christian Jolibois, Christian Heinrich 21st Century Press Group
Not Ranked 28 9787539135151 2006-10 Les P’tites Poules: I’ll Get the Sun Back Christian Jolibois, Christian Heinrich 21st Century Press Group
29 29 9787539168999 2011-10 Les P’tites Poules: I am Not a Coward Christian Jolibois, Christian Heinrich 21st Century Press Group
Not Ranked 30 9787539135175 2006-10 Les P’tites Poules: I Want to Have a Little Brother Christian Jolibois, Christian Heinrich 21st Century Press Group

Foreign Author Fiction Bestsellers, April 2022
March 2022 Ranking April 2022 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 9787544766500 2017-01 To Kill a Mockingbird Harper Lee United States of America Yilin Press
7 3 9787544298995 2020-09 Miracles of the Namiya General Store (2020 Edition) Keigo Higashino Japan Nan Hai Publishing Co.
5 4 9787521200836 2018-08 Thiaoouba Prophecy Michael Desmarquet Australia The Writer’s Publishing House
3 5 9787544291163 2017-08 Journey Under the Midnight Sun (2017 Edition) Keigo Higashino Japan Nan Hai Publishing Co.
4 6 9787532175512 2020-05 13 Steps Kazuaki Takano Japan Shanghai Literature & Art Press
8 7 9787208061644 2021-03 The Kite Runner Khaled Hosseini United States of America Shanghai People’s Publishing House
Not Ranked 8 9787540485337 2018-03 Tsubaki Stationery Store Ito Ogawa Japan Hunan Literature & Art Press
18 9 9787533955168 2019-02 Crime and Punishment Fyodor Dostoevsky Russia Zhejiang Literature & Art Press
10 10 9787544297059 2020-03 Love in the Time of Cholera (3 Million Sold Anniversary Edition) Gabriel García Márquez Colombia Nan Hai Publishing Co.
9 11 9787544267618 2014-06 The Devotion of Suspect X Keigo Higashino Japan Nan Hai Publishing Co.
14 12 9787544291224 2017-08 After School (2017 Edition) Keigo Higashino Japan Nan Hai Publishing Co.
19 13 9787544296274 2019-09 Summer, Fireworks, and My Corpse Otsuichi Japan Nan Hai Publishing Co.
15 14 9787559614711 2018-01 Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit Jeanette Winterson Britain Beijing Union Publishing Co., Ltd.
6 15 9787506394864 2017-09 Sophie’s World (New Edition) Jostein Gaarder Norway The Writer’s Publishing House
13 16 9787559641182 2020-07 Scream Aki Hamanaka Japan Beijing Union Publishing Co., Ltd.
Not Ranked 17 9787551819251 2019-02 The Moon Over the Mountain Atsushi Nakajima Japan Sanqin Press
Not Ranked 18 9787533960414 2020-05 Notes from Underground Fyodor Dostoevsky Russia Zhejiang Literature & Art Press
12 19 9787201112695 2017-03 Siddhartha Hermann Hesse Germany Tianjin People’s Publishing House
Not Ranked 20 9787533960421 2020-05 White Nights Fyodor Dostoevsky, Nicolai Troshisky Russia Zhejiang Literature & Art Press

Foreign Author Nonfiction Bestsellers, April 2022
March 2022 Ranking April 2022 Ranking ISBN Release Date Title (Translated) Author Author nationality Chinese Publisher
2 1 9787111495482 2020-03 The Courage to Be Disliked Ichiro Kishimi Japan China Machine Press
1 2 9787201161693 2020-08 Counselling for Toads: A Psychological Adventure Robert de Board Britain Tianjin People’s Publishing House
3 3 9787521733679 2021-09 The Most Tender Upbringing: Be a Gentle but Steadfast Parent Oh Eun-young Korea CITIC Publishing House Co.,Ltd
9 4 9787511714152 2016-10 How to Talk so Teens will Listen and Listen so Teens will Talk Adele Faber, Elaine Mazlish United States of America Central Compilation & Translation Press
8 5 9787521736816 2022-01 Guns, Germs, and Steel Jared Diamond United States of America CITIC Publishing House Co.,Ltd
5 6 9787550268517 2016-07 Positive Discipline Jane Nelsen United States of America Beijing Union Publishing Co., Ltd.
4 7 9787544276986 2019-10 Educated: A Memoir Tara Westover United States of America Nan Hai Publishing Co.
Not Ranked 8 9787544771344 2018-03 The Cloud Collector’s Handbook Gavin Pretor-Pinney Britain Yilin Press
10 9 9787505737488 2016-12 What Life Should Mean to You Alfred Adler Austria China Friendship Publishing Company
Not Ranked 10 9787540471194 2019-02 Relationship: Bridge to the Soul Christoper Moon Canada Hunan Literature & Art Press
12 11 9787522200514 2021-05 Nonviolent Communication Marshall B.Rosenberg United States of America Huaxia Publishing House
13 12 9787520711531 2019-11 A Compass to Fulfillment Kazuo Inamori Japan Orient Press
19 13 9787210096528 2017-09 Mindset: The New Psychology of Success Carol S.Dweck United States of America Jiangxi People’s Publishing House
11 14 9787505745681 2018-12 The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind Gustave Le Bon France China Friendship Publishing Company
Not Ranked 15 9787540489304 2019-01 Danshari Eiko Yamashita Japan Hunan Literature & Art Press
15 16 9787111551287 2021-04 Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise Anders Ericsson, Robert Pool United States of America China Machine Press
18 17 9787521719253 2020-08 The Book You Wish Your Parents Had Read (and Your Children Will Be Glad That You Did) Philippa Perry Britain CITIC Publishing House Co.,Ltd
Not Ranked 18 9787108009821 2014-03 1587, a Year of No Significance Ray Huang United States of America SDX Joint Publishing Company
Not Ranked 19 9787115509543 2021-04 Efficient Memory Method in Brain Science Yuji Ikeguchi Japan Posts & Telecommunications Publishing House
6 20 9787559643346 2020-09 Blue Flame Yuzuru Hanyu Japan Beijing Union Publishing 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, 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.

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 is a non-resident fellow of Trends Research & Advisory, and he has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair's 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 was for more than a decade a senior producer and anchor with CNN.com, CNN International, and CNN USA. As an arts critic (National Critics Institute), he was with The Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald, and the Tampa Tribune, now the Tampa Bay Times. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman.

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