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World Book Takes on Encyclopaedia Britannica in China
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US publisher World Book has launched a state-approved version of its 20-volume encyclopedia in China.

Published by Hainan Publishing House, the Chinese version of the World Book Encyclopedia will be produced in Haikou, capital of south China's Hainan Province, and sold for 5,800 yuan (US$750) a set.

Hainan Publishing House signed an agreement on the publication with the World Book Corporation in July 1997.

With approval of the State Copyright Administration, the publisher organized 600 translators and editors to compile the Chinese version over the past 10 years.

The encyclopedia sets comprises 26 million simplified characters, 20,000 color illustrations and 1,300 maps, and will be available in Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan as well as the mainland.

The publication would be in competition with the Chinese version of Encyclopaedia Britannica first published in 1985, said Yuan Dachuan, chief editor of the book.

The World Book Encyclopedia was first published in eight volumes in 1917.

The international version of the encyclopedia was published in 1992. More than 3,800 experts and scholars have contributed to the compilation with over 17,000 items.

(Xinhua News Agency April 10, 2007)

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