China's first national digital publishing base opened in the Shanghai's Zhangjiang High-Tech Park yesterday.
The venture is a cooperation between the General Administration of Press and Publication of China and the municipal government.
Officials said they plan to build up well-known brands of digital publications at the Zhangjiang National Digital Publishing Base.
The center aims to own intellectual property for digital publications and attract the world's most advanced technology.
Digital publishing covers database services, online education platforms, electronic books, network games and online music download services.
Since Zhangjiang has already attracted many digital and information technology companies, it was the ideal base to help foster development of the new industry in China, according to Jiao Yang, director of the Shanghai Press and Publication Bureau. Major press groups such as Shanghai Century Publication Co, Wenhui-Xinmin United Press Group and Shanghai Print Group will soon enter the base. Hong Kong Star Group Co, listed in Hong Kong, will move its headquarters, innovation and design departments there.
Pudong New Area Government will appropriate 50 million yuan (US$7.34 million) a year from 2008 to 2011 to support construction and development of the base.
Preferential policies on tax and finance will be offered to companies settling in the base.
Also yesterday, the Shanghai Copyright Trade Center was launched. Copyrighted products will be displayed and traded there.
In addition to the publishing base, the general administration and the municipal government will also cooperate to train professionals in digital publishing, build a China Publication Museum and set up a local platform for copyright matters.
According to official statistics, the city's network game companies realized sales of 6.37 billion yuan last year, an increase of 68 percent from the previous year. Digital publishing, including online paid reading, music downloads and network games, has grown more than 30 percent over the previous year.
(Shanghai Daily July 17, 2008)