China Bestsellers: ‘Three-Body’ News and November Sales

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Our exclusive November bestseller lists in China saw boosts from ‘Double 11’ sales and a new interest in traditional Chinese medicine.

A still from a scene involving scientific debate and generational distance, from ‘Three-Body,’ the Chinese television series adaptation of Liu Cixin’s ‘Remembrance of Earth Past,’ season 1, now streaming on Amazon Prime. Image: Tencent Video, CCTV, Linghe Cultural Media

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

‘Three-Body’ Now Streaming on Prime
Regular readers of our exclusive China Bestsellers lists each month will recall that a year ago, in January and February 2023, we discussed the “three-adaptation problem” that Liu Cixin’s Hugo Award-winning The Three-Body Problem (Chongqing Publishing House) was encountering, in November standing at No. 9 on the fiction bestseller list.

  • In early 2023, an animated adaptation already had been released and was gaining traction in China.
  • We also were also aware of a live-action English-language series adaptation. That one now is scheduled to be released by Netflix with Bighead Littlehead, reportedly on March 21. Minkie Spiro and Derek Tsang are directing and showrunners David Benioff and DB Weiss are in charge.
  • The third adaptation, a Chinese live-action television series, began streaming on Amazon Prime on December 12. And its arrival on the streaming platform is working as a preparation for the Netflix release coming in March.

Though named for the first of the three books, the trilogy itself is titled Remembrance of Earth Past, you’ll remember.

This series has 30 episodes in its first season—a huge number by Western standards. Standouts in the cast include Luyi Zhang, Junning Zhang, Jin Chen, Ziwen Wang, Xiaoran Li, and Chang Weisi, directed by Yang Lei and Vincent Yang.

Without any spoilers, we can tell you that watching this program, which is spoken in Chinese with English subtitles, is a study in itself. The insights it carries into mainland culture, daily life, social interaction, stock characters, and even show-craft are benefits, themselves.

Many will find the pacing extremely slow. Flashbacks with forceful elements of the Cultural Revolution in the backdrop at times take up multiple episodes, no mystery is resolved quickly. VR gaming sequences—also performed at length—can seem jarring against the production’s basic live action. And yet even this element of the comparatively leisurely pace the production allows itself can be instructive, a counterpoint to the breakneck speed of so much Western visual storytelling.

The use of contemporary music in titles at the beginning and end of each episode (sung in English), like the references to ecological issues and scientific efficacy, create a through-line of melodramatic suspense that’s consistent. Even if at times it seems heavy, it’s clearly expressed in the values of a contemporary Chinese production context.

If anything, many viewers and readers will be glad that this interpretation of Liu’s material has arrived through Western streaming before the Netflix edition is introduced, as a way of getting a look at how Liu’s Chinese readership “sees” his story and its philosophical content.

A scene from ‘Three-Body,’ the Chinese television series adaptation of Liu Cixin’s ‘Remembrance of Earth Past,’ season 1, now streaming on Amazon Prime. Image: Tencent Video, CCTV, Linghe Cultural Media

November’s Charts

‘The Space-Time Painter’

Looking at November with the help of our associates at Beijing OpenBook, we’ll stick with science-fiction, as one of the new entries on the fiction list is Hai Ya’s The Space-Time Painter, a story included in editor Yang Feng’s anthology, Galaxy’s Edge, from New Star Press.

Ya became the third Chinese winner of the Hugo Award after Liu and Hao Jingfang. As such, the inclusion of his work in the anthology is what drove sales of the collection to bring it onto the chart at No. 26, after a release in May 2022.

Look just above Ya’s The Space-Time Painter, at No. 25, and you’ll see Journey Under the Midnight Sun in a 2017 edition from Nan Hai Publishing by Keigo Higashino, a Japanese author who can safely be called wildly popular with the Chinese readership.

‘Journey Under the Midnight Sun’

This one is no stranger to the bestseller list, in fact, having been seen there many times—not unlike so many other Higashino titles.

For those unfamiliar with Higashino’s popularity in China, check our fiction list below featuring non-Chinese authors: in addition to Journey Under the Midnight Sun, you’ll find three more Higashino bestsellers on that chart.

November’s annual “Double 11” shopping campaign saw several books, including Liu Zhenyun’s Someone To Talk To make strong gains in sales, year over year, along with Yu Hua’s Only the River Flows—which we discussed in our October bestsellers analysis as a 35-year-old book being driven to new heights by a new film adaptation.

And in nonfiction, look for the new level of attention being given to topics in Chinese medicine, partly a response to the lasting impact of COVID-19.

‘Dietary Therapy for Common Disease’

“On one hand,” we read in the observations of our associates, “the public has further realized the role of Chinese medicine during the pandemic period, which has generated more attention.

“On the other hand, in recent years, China has put forward new policy guidance for the inheritance and innovation of traditional Chinese medicine, which has promoted the development of books in the field of traditional  medicine.”

In November, the fifth slot on the nonfiction list was claimed by Han Shengwang’s Dietary Therapy For Common Disease from Chinese Medicine Classics Publishing House, based on traditional Chinese medicine knowledge from the perspective of food therapy. The concentration here is on the essence of health in Chinese medicine, and proposals for different food therapy programs for various readers and conditions.

Below, then, are OpenBook’s overall lists from November 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.

A scene from ‘Three-Body,’ the Chinese television series adaptation of Liu Cixin’s ‘Remembrance of Earth Past,’ season 1, now streaming on Amazon Prime. Image: Tencent Video, CCTV, Linghe Cultural Media

OpenBook’s Fiction Bestsellers, November 2023
October 2023 Ranking November 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
2 2 9787530221532 2021-10 To Live (2021 Edition) Yu hua Beijing October Art & Literature Publishing House
3 3 9787572608582 2022-10 The Litchi Road Ma Boyong Hunan Literature & Art Press
8 4 9787536097261 2022-07 Someone to Talk To Liu Zhenyun Flower City Press
4 5 9787513348744 2022-11 The Seventh Day Yu hua New Star Press Co., Ltd.
5 6 9787201141527 2018-10 Strait is the Gate Andre Gide Tianjin People’s Publishing House
7 7 9787544291170 2017-08 One Hundred Years of Solitude (50th Anniversary Edition) Gabriel García Márquez Nan Hai Publishing Co.
10 8 9787572610912 2023-05 The Annoyance of the Gods Ma Boyong Hunan Literature & Art Press
11 9 9787536692930 2008-01 The Three-Body Problem Liu Cixin Chongqing Publishing House
13 10 9787536693968 2008-05 The Dark Forest Liu Cixin Chongqing Publishing House
14 11 9787229030933 2010-11 Death’s End Liu Cixin Chongqing Publishing House
9 12 9787500601593 2005-08 Red Crag Luo Guangbin, Yang Yiyan China Youth Press
6 13 9787540487645 2018-06 Moments We Shared Zhang Jiajia Hunan Literature & Art Press
12 14 9787530221396 2021-06 Ordinary Word (3 Volumes) (2021 Edition) Lu Yao Beijing October Art & Literature Publishing House
22 15 9787530216033 2017-09 Chronicle of a Blood Merchant (2017 Edition) Yu hua Beijing October Art & Literature Publishing House
16 16 9787530222454 2023-06 Cries in the drizzle Yu hua Beijing October Art & Literature Publishing House
15 17 9787544766500 2017-01 To Kill a Mockingbird Harper Lee Yilin Press
19 18 9787506331746 2005-05 Distant Savior Dou Dou The Writer’s Publishing House
27 19 9787538772166 2023-06 Only The River Flows Yu hua Time Literature & Art Publishing House
17 20 9787201112695 2017-03 Siddhartha Hermann Hesse Tianjin People’s Publishing House
20 21 9787020178063 2023-04 Notes on Principles Shi Tiesheng People’s Literature Publishing House
23 22 9787533966102 2021-12 Life and Death are Wearing Me Out Mo Yan Zhejiang Literature & Art Press
25 23 9787530221525 2021-07 The Wavy Water Yan Zhen Beijing October Art & Literature Publishing House
21 24 9787020008735 1998-07 Journey to the West Wu Cheng’en People’s Literature Publishing House
Not Ranked 25 9787544291163 2017-08 Journey Under the Midnight Sun (2017 Edition) Keigo Higashino Nan Hai Publishing Co.
Not Ranked 26 9787513348621 2022-05 The Space-Time Painter Yang Feng New Star Press Co., Ltd.
26 27 9787530222324 2022-07 Brothers (2022 Edition) Yu hua Beijing October Art & Literature Publishing House
18 28 9787020002207 1998-07 Dream of the Red Chamber Cao Xueqin People’s Literature Publishing House
29 29 9787530221099 2021-02 Wencheng Yu hua Beijing October Art & Literature Publishing House
28 30 9787208061644 2006-04 The Kite Runner Khaled Hosseini Shanghai People’s Publishing House

OpenBook’s Nonfiction Bestsellers, November 2023
 October 2023 Ranking November 2023 Ranking ISBN Release Date Title (Translated) Author Chinese Publisher
1 1 9787020084357 2011-04 I and the Temple of Earth Shi Tiesheng People’s Literature Publishing House
9 2 9787521754803 2023-03 Believe Cai Lei CITIC Publishing House Co., Ltd.
Not Ranked 3 9787569931921 2019-12 Read Minds Lv Chen Bejing Times Chinese Press
Not Ranked 4 9787557031589 2023-11 If History were a Group of Cats: The Ming Dynasty Fei Zhi Guangdong Tourism Publishing House
Not Ranked 5 9787515224213 2023-10 Dietary Therapy For Common Disease Han Shengwang Chinese Medicine Classics Publishing House
4 6 9787557695712 2022-01 Child psychology Liao Wei Tianjin Science & Technology Press
3 7 9787557019167 2019-10 Classic Quotes From Zeng Shiqiang Luo Fu Shan Guo Xue Yuan Guangdong Tourism Publishing House
Not Ranked 8 9787121456091 2023-07 7-Second Deal: The Master Signing Is Special Ni Jianwei Publishing House of Electronics Industry
2 9 9787522521503 2023-10 Master Control: Palace-Level Wisdom in Chinese History Bai Yu Jiuzhou Press
10 10 9787201161693 2020-08 Counselling for Toads: A Psychological Adventure Robert de Board Tianjin People’s Publishing House
Not Ranked 11 9787545144277 2018-08 The Art Of Speaking Wang Di Liaohai Press
15 12 9787557030162 2023-05 If History were a Group of Cats: Late Yuan and Early Ming Dynasty Fei Zhi Guangdong Tourism Publishing House
11 13 9787521758399 2023-09 Elon Musk Walter Isaacson CITIC Publishing House Co., Ltd.
8 14 9787111495482 2015-04 The Courage to Be Disliked Ichiro Kishimi China Machine Press
13 15 9787540483432 2017-11 Jottings in Sickbed (Commemorative Edition 2021) Shi Tiesheng Hunan Literature & Art Press
24 16 9787557028657 2022-10 If History were a Group of Cats: Southern Song, Jin and Yuan Dynasty Fei Zhi Guangdong Tourism Publishing House
Not Ranked 17 9787557024413 2021-05 If History were a Group of Cats: Prosperity of the Tang Dynasty Fei Zhi Guangdong Tourism Publishing House
20 18 9787559435224 2019-04 The Book of Answers Wei En Jiangsu Literature & Art Press
23 19 9787513942928 2023-10 Flexible: A Lifetime Learning Wen Yuan Democracy and Construction Press
6 20 9787511065315 2023-09 Parents’ Language Guide (2 volumes) Shiguangxue Educational Research Center Dolphin Press
Not Ranked 21 9787557020149 2019-09 If History were a Group of Cats: Three Kingdoms Fei Zhi Guangdong Tourism Publishing House
30 22 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
Not Ranked 23 9787557020132 2019-09 If History were a Group of Cats: The End of Eastern Han Dynasty Fei Zhi Guangdong Tourism Publishing House
Not Ranked 24 9787557025847 2021-11 If History were a Group of Cats: Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Fei Zhi Guangdong Tourism Publishing House
Not Ranked 25 9787557023041 2020-10 If History were a Group of Cats: Sui and Tang Dynasty Fei Zhi Guangdong Tourism Publishing House
Not Ranked 26 9787557021856 2020-05 If History were a Group of Cats: Wei, Jin and the Northern and Southern Dynasties Fei Zhi Guangdong Tourism Publishing House
Not Ranked 27 9787550268517 2016-07 Positive Discipline (Revised Edition) Jane Nelsen Beijing Union Publishing Co., Ltd.
21 28 9787115543424 2020-09 Cognitive Awakening: The Driving Force Behind Self-Change Zhou Ling Posts & Telecommunications Publishing House
18 29 9787020135639 2018-03 I and the Temple of Earth Shi Tiesheng People’s Literature Publishing House
12 30 9787571315252 2021-01 Take Care of Children’s Spleen and Stomach Li Aike Jiangsu Science & Technology Press

OpenBook’s Children’s Bestsellers, November 2023
October 2023 Ranking November 2023 Ranking ISBN Release Date Title (Translated) Author Chinese Publisher
1 1 9787218169095 2023-09 Su Shu (2 volumes) Huang Shigong, Han Tu Guangdong People’s Publishing House
4 2 9787549288861 2023-08 Good Night Baby: Classic Early Childhood Reading (40 volumes) Wen Zhi Chang Jiang Press
Not Ranked 3 9787554712351 2023-11 Win In Upbringing: Learn Manners From Comics Shi Dongmei Tianjin Yangliuqing Fine Arts Press
Not Ranked 4 9787548093398 2023-05 Taopishu Mouse Growth Series Picture Books (40 volumes) Xiao Ling Ding Dang, Xie Mingyi Jiangxi Fine Arts Press
Not Ranked 5 9787550051942 2023-08 Children’s Manga Psychology (4 volumes) Shiguangxue Educational Research Center Baihuazhou Literature & Art Publishing House
13 6 9787511065810 2023-10 Children Must Memorize 144 Ancient Poems For Enlightenment Shiguangxue Educational Research Center Dolphin Press
Not Ranked 7 9787516535332 2023-11 Comic Book Teenager Reads Rockefeller’s Family Letter (6 volumes) QINGLAN TUSHU Aeronautics Industry Press
11 8 9787532767373 2014-08 Charlotte’s Web Elwyn Brooks White Shanghai Translation Publishing House
Not Ranked 9 9787518091287 2023-09 Girl, You Need to Know How to Protect Yourself (4 volumes) Wang Haoze China Textile Press
2 10 9787533274269 2013-08 Guess How Much I Love You Sam McBratney, Anita Jeram Tomorrow Publishing House
20 11 9787559706522 2018-05 The Foolish and the Unhappy (With Chinese Pinyin) Ren Rongrong Zhejiang Juvenile and Children’s Publishing House
3 12 9787533299224 2018-10 Fantastic Mr. Fox Roald Dahl, Quentin Blake Tomorrow Publishing House
9 13 9787559015266 2017-06 Friendship, to be Rented (with Chinese Pinyin) Fang Suzhen, Hao Luowen Xinjiang Children and Youth Publishing House
24 14 9787559621337 2019-04 Butt Detective: Detective and the Fraud Troll Beijing Union Publishing Co., Ltd.
19 15 9787533264062 2010-12 Let’s Get Mung Beans, Momma! Zeng Yangqing, Wan Huaguo Tomorrow Publishing House
Not Ranked 16 9787511066244 2023-11 38 Letters from Rockefeller to His Son (Comic Version) Xiong Ba Lao Hei Dolphin Press
Not Ranked 17 9787550286085 2016-11 Butt Detective: Big Crisis of Small Director Troll Beijing Union Publishing Co., Ltd.
23 18 9787536574366 2016-01 Mi Xiaoquan’s Brain-teaser: Stratego Bei Mao Sichuan Juvenile and Children’s Publishing House
Not Ranked 19 9787550286238 2016-11 Butt Detective: Looking for the Rainbow Diamond Troll Beijing Union Publishing Co., Ltd.
Not Ranked 20 9787550286122 2016-11 Butt Detective: Disappeared Popular Dessert Troll Beijing Union Publishing Co., Ltd.
Not Ranked 21 9787550286214 2016-11 Butt Detective: The Missing Lunch Box Troll Beijing Union Publishing Co., Ltd.
Not Ranked 22 9787559608390 2018-01 Butt Detective: The Criminal Appears Troll Beijing Union Publishing Co., Ltd.
5 23 9787516835708 2023-08 This Is The Psychological Self-Help Book That Children Love Li Shaocong Taihai Publishing House
25 24 9787536574397 2016-01 Mi Xiaoquan’s Brain-teaser: Clever Little Prodigy Bei Mao Sichuan Juvenile and Children’s Publishing House
27 25 9787536574380 2016-01 Mi Xiaoquan’s Brain-teaser: Who’s the Smart Guy? Bei Mao Sichuan Juvenile and Children’s Publishing House
Not Ranked 26 9787530761243 2014-11 Dear Mr. Henshaw Beverly Cleary New Buds Publishing House
28 27 9787536574373 2016-01 Mi Xiaoquan’s Brain-teaser: The Great Adventure of the Castle Bei Mao Sichuan Juvenile and Children’s Publishing House
12 28 9787536587694 2018-04 Mi Xiaoquan School Experience: I am a Pupil Bei Mao Sichuan Juvenile and Children’s Publishing House
18 29 9787115545824 2020-10 Lamb Going Up the Mountain: Chinese Graded Reader (Lv.1)(10 volumes) Sun Bei Posts & Telecommunications Publishing House
Not Ranked 30 9787511052568 2020-08 Butt Detective: Snow Monster in Deep Mountain Troll Dolphin Press

Foreign Author Fiction Bestsellers, November 2023
October 2023 Ranking November 2023 Ranking ISBN Release Date Title (Translated) Author Author nationality Chinese Publisher
1 1 9787201141527 2018-10 Strait is the Gate Andre Gide France Tianjin People’s Publishing House
2 2 9787544291170 2017-08 One Hundred Years of Solitude (50th Anniversary Edition) Gabriel García Márquez Colombia Nan Hai Publishing Co.
3 3 9787544766500 2017-01 To Kill a Mockingbird Harper Lee United States of America Yilin Press
4 4 9787201112695 2017-03 Siddhartha Hermann Hesse Germany Tianjin People’s Publishing House
6 5 9787544291163 2017-08 Journey Under the Midnight Sun (2017 Edition) Keigo Higashino Japan Nan Hai Publishing Co.
5 6 9787208061644 2006-04 The Kite Runner Khaled Hosseini United States of America Shanghai People’s Publishing House
9 7 9787544269452 2021-12 Malice (2022 Edition) Keigo Higashino Japan Nan Hai Publishing Co.
7 8 9787521200836 2018-08 Thiaoouba Prophecy Michael Desmarquet Australia The Writer’s Publishing House
8 9 9787521748239 2022-12 Goodbye, Eri Tatsuki Fujimoto Japan CITIC Publishing House Co., Ltd.
13 10 9787544297059 2020-03 Love in the Time of Cholera (3 Million Sold Anniversary Edition) Gabriel García Márquez Colombia Nan Hai Publishing Co.
12 11 9787544298995 2020-09 Miracles of the Namiya General Store (2020 Edition) Keigo Higashino Japan Nan Hai Publishing Co.
10 12 9787544296274 2019-09 Summer, Fireworks, and My Corpse Otsuichi Japan Nan Hai Publishing Co.
18 13 9787532776771 2018-03 Norwegian Wood Haruki Murakami Japan Shanghai Translation Publishing House
19 14 9787544766500 2017-01 To Kill a Mockingbird Harper Lee United States of America Yilin Press
11 15 9787559614711 2018-01 Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit Jeanette Winterson Britain Beijing Union Publishing Co., Ltd.
20 16 9787513348362 2022-08 Look Back Tatsuki Fujimoto Japan New Star Press Co., Ltd.
17 17 9787532175512 2020-05 13 Steps Kazuaki Takano Japan Shanghai Literature & Art Press
Not Ranked 18 9787555913726 2022-08 Flowers for Algernon Daniel Keyes United States of America Henan Literature & Art Press
16 19 9787530217054 2017-12 The Alchemist Paulo Coelho Brazil Beijing October Art & Literature Publishing House
14 20 9787573503053 2023-02 Swans and Bats Keigo Higashino Japan Nan Hai Publishing Co.

Foreign Author Nonfiction Bestsellers, November 2023
October 2023 Ranking November 2023 Ranking ISBN Release Date Title (Translated) Author Author nationality Chinese Publisher
3 1 9787201161693 2020-08 Counselling for Toads: A Psychological Adventure Robert de Board Britain Tianjin People’s Publishing House
4 2 9787521758399 2023-09 Elon Musk Walter Isaacson United States of America CITIC Publishing House Co., Ltd.
2 3 9787111495482 2015-04 The Courage to Be Disliked Ichiro Kishimi Japan China Machine Press
6 4 9787550268517 2016-07 Positive Discipline (Revised Edition) Jane Nelsen United States of America Beijing Union Publishing Co., Ltd.
5 5 9787555262800 2017-12 The Power of Insensitivity Junichi Watanabe Japan Qingdao Publishing House
11 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.
9 7 9787544276986 2019-10 Educated: A Memoir Tara Westover United States of America Nan Hai Publishing Co.
12 8 9787111551287 2016-10 Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise Anders Ericsson, Robert Pool United States of America China Machine Press
13 9 9787522200514 2021-05 Nonviolent Communication Marshall B.Rosenberg United States of America Huaxia Publishing House
15 10 9787552029185 2020-04 The Awakened Family: How to Raise Empowered, Resilient, and Conscious Children Shefali Tsabary United States of America Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences Press
7 11 9787801445445 2003-04 You Can Heal Your Life Louise L.Hay United States of America China Astronautic Publishing House
1 12 9787513934053 2021-04 Financial freedom Grant Sabatier United States of America Democracy and Construction Press
18 13 9787508090191 2016-12 Apology Plato Ancient Greece Huaxia Publishing House
10 14 9787508653389 2015-07 The Rape of Nanking: The Forgotten Holocaust of World War Ⅱ Iris Chang United States of America CITIC Publishing House Co., Ltd.
Not Ranked 15 9787220126437 2022-08 Somewhere Towards the End Diana Athill Britain Sichuan People’s Publishing House
Not Ranked 16 9787521753059 2023-04 The next days Kevin Kelly United States of America CITIC Publishing House Co., Ltd.
14 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 9787521736816 2022-01 Guns, Germs, and Steel Jared Diamond United States of America CITIC Publishing House Co., Ltd.
16 19 9787520711531 2019-11 A Compass to Fulfillment Kazuo Inamori Japan Orient Press
17 20 9787521733679 2021-09 The Most Tender Upbringing: Be a Gentle but Steadfast Parent Oh Eun-young Korea CITIC Publishing House Co., Ltd.

A scene from ‘Three-Body,’ the Chinese television series adaptation of Liu Cixin’s ‘Remembrance of Earth Past,’ season 1, now streaming on Amazon Prime. Image: Tencent Video, CCTV, Linghe Cultural Media

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.

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