Beijing Book Fair Expects 70 Nations’ Engagement in June

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The 2024 Beijing International Book Fair includes a program for international publishers, with applications open until May 10.

Attendees entering the 2023 Beijing International Book Fair. Image: BIBF, Singing Grass

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

Organizers Predict ‘a Breakthrough Year’
As world publishing works its way through a spring show season that occasionally includes trade fairs and book fairs with conflicting dates, the 30th Beijing International Book Fair stands relatively in the clear on the calendar, running June 19 to 23.

This year’s outing is being described by organizers as “a breakthrough year” for this public-facing fair.

Currently, the show is taking applications for an Independent Publishers Sponsorship program that’s open to international publishers with fewer than 30 employees. A return airfare and a booth at the fair will be provided participants selected. The deadline for application is May 10 and details can be had from Zhang Jie at zhangjie1@bibf.net.

Returning this year as exhibitors are France and Abu Dhabi from the United Arab Emirates, neither of them participants since 2019.

The company says it also expects 25 national stands (“collective” stands) with countries including the United Kingdom, the United States, France, Germany, Japan, Italy, Norway, Poland, Greece, Cyprus, Romania, Iran, the United Arab Emirates, Malaysia, Azerbaijan, Russia, the African Joint Pavilion, Cameroon, Nigeria, and Saudi Arabi,

Academic Publishing and EdTech Growing

The Beijing fair’s administration says it sees both edtech and academic publishing areas growing in 2024.

International academic publishers attending include Wiley, Cengage, Taylor & Francis, Elsevier, Oxford, Cambridge, SpingerNature, Sage, World Scientific, Brill, and De Gruyter. Additionally, university presses such as Princeton University Press, Harvard University Press, Toronto University Press, Melbourne University Publishing, Bristol University Policy Press, and ACC Science Publishing in Singapore.

BIBF opened a new 5,000-square-meter edtech space at the Fair in 2023 for companies ranging from online literature, education, and animation to gaming companies, indicating that the “edtech” label carries considerable latitude here. Edtech attendees this year are to include Tencent, NetEase, 37 Interactive Entertainment, and Douyin, the name by which TikTok is known in China.

Beyond those sectors, major and smaller houses on tap include Penguin Random House; Bloomsbury; Atlantyca; Macmillan; Clavis; Nuinui, Whitestar; and Insight Editions.

China’s Book Industry Growth Patterns: Turning Up

Our regular Publishing Perspectives readers know that Beijing OpenBook provided us with an overview in March of a market returning to growth after a slow and protracted exit from the pandemic years.

Related article: ‘China’s Book Industry in 2023: Back in the Black.’ Image – Getty iStockphoto: Yiu Cheung

Several of the points we listed in our story in March:

  • In 2023, the market valuation—as measured in sales revenue at list price—came to 91.2 billion yuan (US$12.6 billion).
  • The total number of active titles, as gauged by ISBNs in the overall retail market, reached 2.37 million, an increase of 1.55 percent.
  • More than 180,000 new titles were published in the Chinese market in 2023, as tracked by OpenBook, representing an increase of 7.3 percent over 2022.

In a comment provided to us for today’s report, Jianhua Lei, director of the book fair office, is quoted, saying, “BIBF 2024 will be a breakthrough year for international attendance and exhibitors, with the scale of international exhibitors surpassing that of 2019.

Jianhua Lei

“We are pleased to see the return of country pavilions such as France and the UAE for the first time in 5 years.

“We’re delighted to be offering sponsorship to leading independent publishers from many parts of the world and hope this enables small- and medium-sized publishing institutions to network and grow their connections with Chinese and international publishers.”

“Along with the independent publishers program, the show will offer a youth publishing fellowship program and an invitational program for librarians and booksellers.”

Growth is anticpated at this year’s Beijing International Book Fair — 2024 marks this public-facing show’s 30th year Image: BIBF, Singing Grass


More from Publishing Perspectives about the Beijing International Book Fair is here, more on the Chinese book and publishing market is here, our popular China Bestsellers research is here, and more from us on Asia 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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