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China Publishing Group Established

China Publishing Group -- a publishing giant that includes the People’s Press, the People’s Literature Press, the Commercial Press, the Zhonghua Book Company, China Encyclopedia Press, China Fine Arts Press, the People’s Music Press, the DSX Book Company, China Translation and Publishing Corporation, the Xinhua Bookstore, China International Publishing Trade Corporation, and China Book Import and Export (group) Corporation -- was officially established Tuesday in Beijing.

Yang Muzhi, vice minister of the State Press and Publication Administration, has been appointed president of the administrative committee that is in charge of overall management of the group.

Each of the eight member presses included in the group is an elite publisher in China with a distinguished history and wide-ranging reputation. The Zhonghua Book Company is busy preparing for the 90th anniversary of its founding, and the Commercial Press has found unsurpassed popularity in its Xinhua Dictionary and Modern Chinese Dictionary.

The Xinhua Bookstore, China International Publishing Trade Corporation, and China Book Import and Export (group) Corporation will be organized into China Distribution Group as a subsidiary group under China Publishing Group.

Taking publishing and distribution as its major work, the business of China Publishing Group involves publishing and sale of publications involving various media, chain stores, import and export, copyright trade, printing and replicating, information service, technology development and financing.

The group now has over 5,000 employees. Its capital assets account for 5 billion yuan (US$604.81 million), and its sales profits hit 2.5 billion yuan (US$302.4 million) in 2001. The Publicity Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CCCPC) and the State Press and Publication Administration will be jointly in charge of the group.

The top management of the group will focus much of its attention on how to protect the established trademarks of the member presses.

The establishment of the China Publishing Group is deemed as a significant move of China to cope with the situation following China’s entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO), and it signals that a massive reshuffle of China’s publishing industry has begun.

Earlier reports indicated that China had upgraded the State Press and Publication Administration under the State Council from vice ministerial level to ministerial level to better administer press and publishing in China.

(By Qi Shuhuan, 中华工商时报 (China Industry and Commerce Times), April 9, 2002, translated by Chen Chao for china.org.cn)

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