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Harry Potter Sales Break 1.3 Million in China

The Harry Potter books have sold more than 1.3 million copies in China, prompting the launch of the fourth book in the series in the world's most populous country, publishers said Monday.

Sales of the first three Harry Potter books went on sale in China in October and following a tremendous response by Chinese readers, the People's Literature Publishing House is preparing to launch "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" on June 1, publisher Liu Jing told AFP.

"We sold 1.3 million Harry Potter books, or 415,000 sets of the first three books and now readers are demanding the next volume," Liu said.

Sales of the books, while not outselling traditional Chinese children stories, have so far outstripped sales of other Western children's books like Pinocchio, Alice and Wonderland and Grimm's Fairy Tales, as well as Walt Disney books, Liu said.

The publishing company plans to launch the fourth in the series in 10 major Chinese cities on Friday, which marks International Children's Day, and is hoping parents will snap it up for their kids.

The series, which centers around the adventures of an orphaned boy who fights dark forces with his special wizardry powers, has sold over 35 million copies worldwide and has been translated into 31 languages.

Although the Chinese-language set of the first three Harry Potter books sold for 68 yuan (US$8.20), the fourth book will retail for 39 yuan, Liu said.

"The 'Goblet of Fire' is 500 pages long, so we don't think it is too expensive, besides on June 1 we will also be giving away some 20 yuan in promotional gifts with each book sold," she said.

(People’s Daily 05/29/2001)

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