China Bestsellers in June: Ancient Wisdom, Modern Serials

In Feature Articles by Porter Anderson

Both in fiction and nonfiction, the Chinese charts in June reflected the readership’s deepening interest in national culture and history.

College entrance exam time in Jiaozuo in China’s Henan province, June 7. Image – Getty iStockphoto: Zhu Xiaobin

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

Japan’s Keigo Higashino Holds Three Spots
One of the things that regular readers of our China Bestsellers series of charts, produced in association with Beijing OpenBook, is that the Chinese readership’s fondness for the Japanese author Keigo Higashino’s work continues, as his 2022 edition, Malice (Nan Hai Publishing), has sprung onto the charts.

‘Malice’

While the book has entered the chart in June at No. 27, past experience indicates that this latest arrival from him will rise over time among other fiction bestsellers. This, in fact, gives Higashino three spots on the June list: His Swans and Bats (released in February) stands at No. 24 and the 2017 edition of his Journey Under the Midnight Sun is at No. 16 (both also from Nan Hai).

Malice, however, is not the newcomer it appears. The novel originally appeared in 1996 and is considered in China to be one of his four best works, the other three being Journey Under the Midnight Sun, The Devotion of Suspect X, and The Miracles of the Namiya General Store.

Even more energy is behind the debut appearance on the chart at No. 2 of Think Tank by Feng Menglong (Beijing Union Publishing). It was published in June and by the end of the month had seized second place—an exceedingly fast arrival on the comparatively slow-moving bestseller lists of China. Despite the fact that this is fiction, its allure lies close to its intriguing title.

‘Think Tank’

Think Tank is based, of course, on the nearly 2,000 ancient “wisdom stories”—we might call these fables—collected by Feng (1574-1646). In a kind of parallel to the trio of vernacular Chinese short-story collections he produced—Stories Old and New, Stories to Caution the World, and Stories to Awaken the World–the newly released Think Tank is published in simplified Chinese, making the tales and their lessons easily accessible to many.

The book, according to our research associates at OpenBook, has found such propulsion in the marketplace because there’s a new revival of interest and regard for Chinese studies and traditional culture (evident in the many series of historical-vignette books on the market in nonfiction), and because Think Tank offers some of Feng’s writings as life lessons in confusion, workplace challenges, and other familiar issues. In short, there’s a self-help component to the appeal.

‘The Annoyance of the Gods’

Also new to the list: Ma Boyong’s The Annoyance of the Gods, arriving on the chart at No. 18, a May release from Hunan Literature and Art Press.

Using characters from Journey to the West—the 16th-century (Ming Dynasty) novel attributed to Wu Cheng’en—Ma’s book is being referred to by our associates as “a Journey to the West’ suitable for adults.

Even before its publication, Ma’s book was a point of commentary across platforms including Douban, Weibo, and Xiaohongshu.

And what may seem the most inevitable debut on the fiction list in June is Hu Yu La Jiao’s I Become the God in the Infinite Game—another transfer to traditional publishing from the world of “online literature,” as online platform-based serials are called in Asian markets.

With a cover design sporting the triangular face and pointy chin of contemporary Asian comics—no question who is being targeted among consumers here—Hu’s book has arrived in its Guangdong Tourism Publishing House edition by way of its genesis on the Jinjiang Literature City platform.

‘I Become a God in the Infinite Game’

While we can easily get the impression that many such serials are being picked up and published by houses, this one was something of a rarity in making that transfer in June. Its original iteration online had a slight distinction in its title, being then called I Become God [as opposed to a God] in the Infinite Game, giving it perhaps more ecclesiastical majesty than can be expected in its newly released (May) book version.

A work of science-fiction and adventure, the story is about a young man whose dislikes employment, loves crisis, and has a formidable IQ that propels him up consecutive levels of a live game’s challenges.

Nonfiction: Not All Is ‘A Group of Cats’

In nonfiction, several trends are signaled in the June charts.

  • New editions of known works are performing well this summer.
  • Traditional cultural trends are in the lead.
  • Personal revelation and bravery play well in an inspirational memoir.

Flexible: A Lifetime of Learning by Su Wenyuan (Jilin Literature and History Press, 2019) leapt to the top of the nonfiction chart, in actuality a new edition of a book that had charted earlier this year. With its self-explanatory title, it taps right into that popular vein of Chinese literature in the self-improvement sector.

Chinese Etiquette by Liu Yida and Ma Haifang (Orient Publishing, 2021) entered the chart for the first time at No. 5, and an Ultimate Collection of Ancient Essays by Chen Puqing (Yuelu Publishing House) debuted at No. 18, another sign of the rising historical and cultural curiosity that seems to be growing in this vast marketplace.

And the memoir of Cai Lei—the former vice-president of JD.com—is titled Believe and was published by CITIC Publishing House in March. The key here is that Cai is living with ALS, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, known also as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. His book deals with his struggles in learning of his illness, facing it, handling it with his family. Having been extensively interviewed and written up—and with celebrity forewords for his book to support his bravery—Cai saw his book enter the charts at No. 24 with a good chance of higher rankings ahead.

The two characters on the cover of his book (on the right in our group of four covers below) translate as: “Even in failure, never surrender.”

On the nonfiction China bestseller list from June 2023, from left: ‘Flexible: A Lifetime of Learning’; ‘Chinese Etiquette’; ‘Ultimate Collection of Ancient Essays’; and ‘Believe’

Below, then, are OpenBook’s overall lists from June 2023 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.

OpenBook’s Fiction Bestsellers, June 2023
May 2023 Ranking June 2023 Ranking ISBN Release Date Title (Translated) Author Chinese Publisher
1 1 9787020139590 2019-06 The Last Quarter of the Moon Chi Zijian People’s Literature Publishing House
Not Ranked 2 9787559668332 2023-06 Think Tank (Selected Chinese) Feng Menglong Beijing Union Publishing Co., Ltd.
3 3 9787572608582 2022-10 Lychee in Chang’an Ma Boyong Hunan Literature & Art Press
7 4 9787536692930 2008-01 The Three-Body Problem Liu Cixin Chongqing Publishing House
2 5 9787530221532 2021-10 To Live (2021 Edition) Yu hua Beijing October Art & Literature Publishing House
8 6 9787536693968 2008-05 The Dark Forest Liu Cixin Chongqing Publishing House
10 7 9787229030933 2010-11 Death’s End Liu Cixin Chongqing Publishing House
6 8 9787540487645 2018-06 Moments We Shared Zhang Jiajia Hunan Literature & Art Press
18 9 9787020164776 2020-07 A Late Bloomer Mo Yan People’s Literature Publishing House
4 10 9787500601593 2005-08 Red Crag Luo Guangbin, Yang Yiyan China Youth Press
9 11 9787530219218 2019-02 A Wavy Life Mai Jia Beijing October Art & Literature Publishing House
21 12 9787544291170 2017-08 One Hundred Years of Solitude (50th Anniversary Edition) Gabriel García Márquez Nan Hai Publishing Co.
5 13 9787513348744 2022-11 The Seventh Day Yu hua New Star Press Co. Ltd
23 14 9787020002207 1998-07 Dream of the Red Chamber Cao Xueqin People’s Literature Publishing House
15 15 9787530221396 2021-06 Ordinary Word (3 Volumes)(2021 Edition) Lu Yao Beijing October Art & Literature Publishing House
19 16 9787544291163 2017-08 Journey Under the Midnight Sun (2017 Edition) Keigo Higashino Nan Hai Publishing Co.
11 17 9787506331746 2005-05 Distant Savior Dou Dou The Writer’s Publishing House
Not Ranked 18 9787572610912 2023-05 The Annoyance of the Gods Ma Boyong Hunan Literature & Art Press
Not Ranked 19 9787557028015 2023-05 I Become the God in the Infinite Game Hu Yu La Jiao Guangdong Tourism Publishing House
16 20 9787530217962 2018-05 Cries in the Drizzle Yu hua Beijing October Art & Literature Publishing House
17 21 9787572602825 2021-08 Always Have, Always Will Zhang Jiajia Hunan Literature & Art Press
20 22 9787201112695 2017-03 Siddhartha Hermann Hesse Tianjin People’s Publishing House
27 23 9787533966102 2021-12 Life and Death are Wearing Me Out Mo Yan Zhejiang Literature & Art Press
14 24 9787573503053 2023-02 Swans and Bats Keigo Higashino Nan Hai Publishing Co.
12 25 9787513350976 2023-01 Suzume no Tojimari Makoto Shinkai New Star Press Co.Ltd
25 26 9787530216033 2017-09 Chronicle of a Blood Merchant (2017 Edition) Yu hua Beijing October Art & Literature Publishing House
Not Ranked 27 9787544269452 2021-12 Malice (2022 Edition) Keigo Higashino Nan Hai Publishing Co.
Not Ranked 28 9787530221099 2021-02 Wencheng Yu hua Beijing October Art & Literature Publishing House
13 29 9787530218792 2021-07 Life (2021 Edition) Lu Yao Beijing October Art & Literature Publishing House
Not Ranked 30 9787555285298 2020-03 Hidden Love Zhu Yi Qingdao Publishing House

OpenBook’s Nonfiction Bestsellers, June 2023
May 2023 Ranking June 2023 Ranking ISBN Release Date Title (Translated) Author Chinese Publisher
Not Ranked 1 9787547238677 2019-02 Flexible: A lifetime of learning Su Wenyuan Jilin Literature & History Press
2 2 9787546431116 2022-11 Fascinating Chinese History Lu feng Chengdu Times Press
4 3 9787558063183 2019-10 Continue the Chat Wisely Lin Sicheng Jiangsu Fine Arts Press
23 4 9787557030162 2023-05 If History were a Group of Cats: Late Yuan and Early Ming Dynasty Fei Zhi Guangdong Tourism Publishing House
Not Ranked 5 9787520723510 2021-11 Chinese Etiquette Liu Yida,Ma Haifang Orient Press
5 6 9787020084357 2011-04 I and the Temple of Earth Shi Tiesheng People’s Literature Publishing House
8 7 9787111495482 2015-04 The Courage to Be Disliked Ichiro Kishimi China Machine Press
Not Ranked 8 9787208171336 2021-08 In the Affair: Chinese Government and Economic Development Lan Xiaohuan Shanghai People’s Publishing House
9 9 9787530892268 2014-12 Science of Medical Diet for Food Therapy Song Jingdong Tianjin Science & Technology Press
12 10 9787201161693 2020-08 Counselling for Toads: A Psychological Adventure Robert de Board Tianjin People’s Publishing House
7 11 9787222204331 2021-11 Details of Law Luo Xiang Yunnan People’s Publishing House
28 12 9787516826447 2020-07 Addictive Chinese History Wen Boling Taihai Publishing House
10 13 9787559664464 2022-10 Wish You Love Yourself Too Fang Qi Beijing Union Publishing Co., Ltd.
Not Ranked 14 9787516826591 2020-10 Addictive Chinese History (2) Wen Boling Taihai Publishing House
Not Ranked 15 9787511320506 2012-08 Su Shu Huang Shigong, Ding Minxiang China Overseas Chinese Press
20 16 9787520802130 2018-05 Be Their Own Psychological Doctor Mo Yu China Business Publishing House
14 17 9787571315252 2021-01 Take Care of Children’s Spleen and Stomach Li Aike Jiangsu Science & Technology Press
Not Ranked 18 9787553813875 2021-04 Ultimate Collection of Ancient Essays Chen Puqing YUELU Publishing House
Not Ranked 19 9787515830292 2022-01 Chinese Communication Wisdom Sun Yuzhong China Industry and Commerce Joint Publishing Co. Ltd
17 20 9787557028657 2022-10 If History were a Group of Cats: Southern Song, Jin and Yuan Dynasty Fei Zhi Guangdong Tourism Publishing House
16 21 9787540483432 2017-11 Jottings in Sickbed (Commemorative Edition 2021) Shi Tiesheng Hunan Literature & Art Press
1 22 9787554617502 2021-06 Parent-child Communication Skills Training Li Jing Guwuxuan Publishing House
21 23 9787559313652 2017-09 If History were a Group of Cats: Xia, Shang and Western Zhou Dynasty Fei Zhi Heilongjiang Fine Arts Press
Not Ranked 24 9787521754803 2023-03 Believe Cai Lei CITIC Publishing House Co., Ltd
Not Ranked 25 9787557020149 2019-09 If History were a Group of Cats: Three Kingdoms Fei Zhi Guangdong Tourism Publishing House
15 26 9787572608377 2022-09 It’s A Long Journey Lu Sihao Hunan Literature & Art Press
Not Ranked 27 9787511368478 20171-1 Unity of knowledge and Action: Wang Yangming’s Mind Sheng Duo China Overseas Chinese Press
24 28 9787559330260 2018-06 If History were a Group of Cats: The Spring-autumn and Warring State Period Fei Zhi Heilongjiang Fine Arts Press
Not Ranked 29 9787557020132 2019-09 If History were a Group of Cats: The End of Eastern Han Dynasty Fei Zhi Guangdong Tourism Publishing House
30 30 9787557027063 2022-04 If History were a Group of Cats: Song, Liao, Jin Dynasty and the Western Xia Regime Fei Zhi Guangdong Tourism Publishing House

OpenBook’s Children’s Bestsellers, June 2023
May 2023 Ranking June 2023 Ranking ISBN Release Date Title (Translated) Author Chinese Publisher
Not Ranked 1 9787558575280 2023-06 Manga Child Psychology Liu He The North China Women&Children’s Publishing House
27 2 9787559467546 2022-09 Good Behavior: Those Little Things That My Grandparents Taught My Parents, And My Parents Taught Me Long Xiaotian, Cao Qun Jiangsu Literature & Art Press
7 3 9787550121584 2014-12 The Wanderings of Sanmao Zhang Leping Nanfang Publishing House
Not Ranked 4 9787501609413 2015-04 Bronze and Sunflower Cao Wenxuan Foreign Literature Press
2 5 9787218146768 2022-09 Manga Elementary School Student Psychology (4 volumes) Han Tu Guangdong People’s Publishing House
Not Ranked 6 9787110105764 2023-05 Science Comics Loved by Pupils Sunbook Popular Science Press
Not Ranked 7 9787552707397 2023-06 DU ZHE School Edition 10th Anniversary Essence Volume (4 volumes) DUZHE Duzhe Press Co., Ltd.
13 8 9787521739077 2022-07 The Grolltroll (4 volumes) Barbara van den Speulhof CITIC Publishing House Co.,Ltd
Not Ranked 9 9787558336942 2023-05 Knowledge Has A Picture: Manga Chinese and Foreign History Chen Lei, Hun Zhi Team Guangdong New Century Press
Not Ranked 10 9787570805211 2020-04 Learn to Manage Yourself: Good Character Development Series for Children (10 volumes) Hu Yuanyuan Tomorrow Publishing House
Not Ranked 11 9787513174787 2022-06 Vater und sohn E.O. Plauen Kaiming Publishing House
8 12 9787536574366 2016-01 Mi Xiaoquan’s Brain-teaser: Stratego Bei Mao Sichuan Juvenile and Children’s Publishing House
5 13 9787549286492 2023-03 Introduction to the Civil Code of Comics Sen Ke Chang Jiang Press
9 14 9787536574397 2016-01 Mi Xiaoquan’s Brain-teaser: Clever Little Prodigy Bei Mao Sichuan Juvenile and Children’s Publishing House
Not Ranked 15 9787218159096 2022-08 The Four Great Classic Chinese Novels Mind Map Book (Manga Edition) Bright Education Guangdong People’s Publishing House
11 16 9787536574380 2016-01 Mi Xiaoquan’s Brain-teaser: Who’s the Smart Guy? Bei Mao Sichuan Juvenile and Children’s Publishing House
12 17 9787536574373 2016-01 Mi Xiaoquan’s Brain-teaser: The Great Adventure of the Castle Bei Mao Sichuan Juvenile and Children’s Publishing House
6 18 9787572809026 2022-12 This Is Chinese Power Super Project Comes Young Lions Sichuan Juvenile and Children’s Publishing House
21 19 9787559649461 2021-06 Spirited Away Hayao Miyazaki Beijing Union Publishing Co., Ltd.
30 20 9787559644633 2020-12 My Neighbor Totoro Hayao Miyazaki Beijing Union Publishing Co., Ltd.
Not Ranked 21 9787571702649 2020-06 This is Traditional Chinese Etiquette: A Study Guide to Etiquette for Teenagers Wang Hong, Lei Zi Hebei Science & Technology Press
16 22 9787533264062 2010-12 Let’s Get Mung Beans, Momma! Zeng Yangqing, Wan Huaguo Tomorrow Publishing House
Not Ranked 23 9787532767373 2014-08 Charlotte’s Web Elwyn Brooks White Shanghai Translation Publishing House
Not Ranked 24 9787536593749 2020-05 Mi Xiaoquan’s Brain-teaser: Game of the Wise Bei Mao Sichuan Juvenile and Children’s Publishing House
Not Ranked 25 9787115545824 2020-10 Lamb Going Up the Mountain: Chinese Graded Reader (Lv. 1) (10 volumes) Children’s Fun Publishing Co., Ltd,Sun Bei Posts & Telecommunications Publishing House
Not Ranked 26 9787559661265 2022-08 Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea Hayao Miyazaki Beijing Union Publishing Co., Ltd.
Not Ranked 27 9787536593756 2020-05 Mi Xiaoquan’s Brain-teaser: Password Discovery Bei Mao Sichuan Juvenile and Children’s Publishing House
14 28 9787536587694 2018-04 Mi Xiaoquan School Experience: I am a Pupil Bei Mao Sichuan Juvenile and Children’s Publishing House
Not Ranked 29 9787536593459 2020-05 Mi Xiaoquan’s Brain-teaser: ‘Have a Meal’ Restaurant Bei Mao Sichuan Juvenile and Children’s Publishing House
Not Ranked 30 9787536593442 2020-05 Mi Xiaoquan’s Brain-teaser: The Magic Lamp Bei Mao Sichuan Juvenile and Children’s Publishing House

Foreign Author Fiction Bestsellers, June 2023
May 2023 Ranking June 2023 Ranking ISBN Release Date Title (Translated) Author Author nationality Chinese Publisher
5 1 9787544291170 2017-08 One Hundred Years of Solitude (50th Anniversary Edition) Gabriel García Márquez Colombia Nan Hai Publishing Co.
3 2 9787544291163 2017-08 Journey Under the Midnight Sun (2017 Edition) Keigo Higashino Japan Nan Hai Publishing Co.
4 3 9787201112695 2017-03 Siddhartha Hermann Hesse Germany Tianjin People’s Publishing House
2 4 9787573503053 2023-02 Swans and Bats Keigo Higashino Japan Nan Hai Publishing Co.
1 5 9787513350976 2023-01 Suzume no Tojimari Makoto Shinkai Japan New Star Press Co.Ltd
8 6 9787544269452 2021-12 Malice (2022 Edition) Keigo Higashino Japan Nan Hai Publishing Co.
7 7 9787208061644 2006-04 The Kite Runner Khaled Hosseini United States of America Shanghai People’s Publishing House
11 8 9787544766500 2017-01 To Kill a Mockingbird Harper Lee United States of America Yilin Press
10 9 9787544298995 2020-09 Miracles of the Namiya General Store (2020 Edition) Keigo Higashino Japan Nan Hai Publishing Co.
15 10 9787544766500 2017-01 To Kill a Mockingbird Harper Lee United States of America Yilin Press
13 11 9787544297059 2020-03 Love in the Time of Cholera (3 Million Sold Anniversary Edition) Gabriel García Márquez Colombia Nan Hai Publishing Co.
16 12 9787539983295 2015-10 Foundation (Revised Edition) Isaac Asimov United States of America Jiangsu Literature & Art Press
6 13 9787521748239 2022-12 Goodbye, Eri Tatsuki Fujimoto Japan CITIC Publishing House Co., Ltd
9 14 9787544296274 2019-09 Summer, Fireworks, and My Corpse Otsuichi Japan Nan Hai Publishing Co.
Not Ranked 15 9787573500014 2021-11 The Devotion of Suspect X (2022 Edition) Keigo Higashino Japan Nan Hai Publishing Co.
12 16 9787559614711 2018-01 Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit Jeanette Winterson Britain Beijing Union Publishing Co., Ltd.
14 17 9787544291224 2017-08 After School (2017 Edition) Keigo Higashino Japan Nan Hai Publishing Co.
19 18 9787530217054 2017-12 The Alchemist Paulo Coelho Brazil Beijing October Art & Literature Publishing House
Not Ranked 19 9787506394864 2017-09 Sophie’s World (New Edition) Jostein Gaarder Norway The Writer’s Publishing House
Not Ranked 20 9787532175512 2020-05 13 Steps Kazuaki Takano Japan Shanghai Literature & Art Press

Foreign Author Nonfiction Bestsellers, June 2023
May 2023 Ranking June 2023 Ranking ISBN Release Date Title (Translated) Author Author nationality Chinese Publisher
1 1 9787111495482 2015-04 The Courage to Be Disliked Ichiro Kishimi Japan China Machine Press
2 2 9787201161693 2020-08 Counselling for Toads: A Psychological Adventure Robert de Board Britain Tianjin People’s Publishing House
6 3 9787544276986 2019-10 Educated: A Memoir Tara Westover United States of America Nan Hai Publishing Co.
5 4 9787555262800 2017-12 The Power of Insensitivity Junichi Watanabe Japan Qingdao Publishing House
4 5 9787801445445 2003-04 You Can Heal Your Life Louise L. Hay United States of America China Astronautic Publishing House
13 6 9787521741124 2022-04 The Almanack of Naval Ravikant: A Guide to Wealth and Happiness Eric Jorgenson United States of America CITIC Publishing House Co., Ltd
7 7 9787550268517 2016-07 Positive Discipline (Revised Edition) Jane Nelsen United States of America Beijing Union Publishing Co., Ltd.
Not Ranked 8 9787513169134 2021-12 The Master Key System: Open the Secret to Health, Wealth and Love Charles F. Haanel United States of America Kaiming Publishing House
11 9 9787520711531 2019-11 A Compass to Fulfillment Kazuo Inamori Japan Orient Press
8 10 9787513349369 2022-09 From the Limit: Correspondence on Feminism Chizuko Ueno Japan New Star Press Co.Ltd
15 11 9787542669018 2020-06 The Memoir of Literature (1989-1994) Mu Xin, Chen Danqing United States of America Shanghai Joint Publishing Company
Not Ranked 12 9787511375278 2018-08 The Advice of Perfect Life for Woman Dale Carnegie United States of America China Overseas Chinese Press
9 13 9787522200514 2021-05 Nonviolent Communication Marshall B.Rosenberg United States of America Huaxia Publishing House
Not Ranked 14 9787108009821 1998-07 1587, a Year of No Significance Ray Huang United States of America SDX Joint Publishing Company
16 15 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
17 16 9787111635574 2019-10 The Working Methods of Kazuo Inamori Kazuo Inamori Japan China Machine Press
10 17 9787521733679 2021-09 The Most Tender Upbringing: Be a Gentle but Steadfast Parent Oh Eun-young Korea CITIC Publishing House Co., Ltd
Not Ranked 18 9787020116133 2016-06 Red Star Over China Edgar Snow United States of America People’s Literature Publishing House
Not Ranked 19 9787508661766 2016-06 The Power of Now Eckhart Tolle Germany CITIC Publishing House Co., Ltd
Not Ranked 20 9787521736816 2022-01 Guns, Germs, and Steel Jared Diamond United States of America 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.

At last report, OpenBook monitored more than 18,000 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 more than 4,800 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 2022, OpenBook tracked around 76.21 billion RMB in sales (US$10.62 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 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 registered through government channels. The government approves each book published in China.


More China bestseller reports from Publishing Perspectives are here, and more on the Chinese book publishing market 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 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 (Fellow, 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.