Book Industry Faces Challenge

Chinese publishers will have to survive solely on their competitiveness after China becomes a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO), said a top official of the Publishers' Association of China.

Chen Weijiang, vice-chairman of the association, called on all publishers in China to speed up their pace in adopting international practices in the publishing industry.

Chen was attending a forum on the development of the publishing industry in China and the international publishing market after China's entry into the WTO, which was held on Tuesday in Beijing.

Decision makers from more than 50 big-name publishing houses in China as well as Publishing On Line, an American company, held talks and discussions during the forum.

Chinese publishers used to be "comfortable" because of the high demand resulting from the country's large population, Chen said.

"However, this situation will soon change after China enters the WTO," he said, explaining that this is because the market in China will be opened to international publishers, which are more advanced in terms of marketing and management than Chinese ones.

Chinese publishers should pay more attention to factors that affect the market, such as consumer preferences, said Yang Deyan, general manager of the Commercial Press, a well-known Beijing-based publisher in China.

Given the fact that almost one-fourth of the world's population speak Chinese and that more and more people in the world want to know about China because of its rapid political, economic and social development, Yang believed there is a great opportunity for Chinese publishers.

(China Daily November 8, 2001)

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