Chil­dren’s books in­dus­try boom­ing in China

Ex­perts say now is the golden age for kid’s pub­li­ca­tions in the coun­try as pub­lish­ers fre­net­i­cally gen­er­ate new con­tent to meet de­mand for qual­ity books

China Daily (Canada) - - SHANGHAI - By ZHANG KUN in Shang­hai

zhangkun@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Even though the pub­lish­ing in­dust ry around the world has been in de­cline over the past decade, chil­dren’s books have some­how man­aged to be­come the ex­cep­tion, be­ing the only sec­tor to thrive amid com­pe­ti­tion from new me­dia, said Randy Wang of Reed Ex­hi­bi­tions, or­ga­nizer of the China Shang­hai Chil­dren’s Book Fair (CCBF).

Held be­tween Nov 11 and 13 at the Expo Ex­hi­bi­tion Cen­ter, the fair cel­e­brated its third edi­tion here in Shang­hai this year with a tremen­dous crowd and ven­dor turnout that sur­prised the or­ga­niz­ers.

“You might think on­line bookstores such as Ama­zon and Dang­dang have taken over the re­tail busi­ness of books with their home de­liv­ery ser­vices and dis­count prices,” said Wang.

“Yet, peo­ple don’t hes­i­tate to pay hun­dreds of yuan to buy im­ported books for their chil­dren at the fair.”

Sim­i­larly in France, more than 12,000 chil­dren’s books are pub­lished ev­ery year and 7,000 of them are new ti­tles, said Nathalie Beau, a spe­cial­ist of chil­dren’s lit­er­a­ture from France. Sales of chil­dren’s books have “never fallen”, she added, de­spite ag­gres­sive com­pe­ti­tion from dig­i­tal con­tent.

This year’s CCBF at­tracted more than 300 pub­lish­ers and pro­fes­sion­als from re­lated in­dus­tries, and they show­cased more than 20,000 book ti­tles.

Five Scan­di­na­vian coun­tries had also par­tic­i­pated in the fair for the first time. Housed in a Nordic-themed pav­il­ion, more than 10 in­sti­tu­tions from th­ese coun­tries ped­dled their lat­est prod­ucts to Chi­nese par­ents.

Rol­eff Krak­stromy from Fin­land ex­pressed his ex­cite­ment for the Chi­nese mar­ket, say­ing that while the Euro­pean mar­ket was be­com­ing too sat­u­rated, peo­ple here in China were ea­ger for new con­tent.

Over at the booth of Dan­ish com­pany Globe Pub­lish­ing, Per Schou pre­sented a se­ries of play­sets, con­sist­ing of a book and a board-game that he said have been spe­cially de­signed to help de­velop cre­ative, phys­i­cal, per­sonal and so­cial skills for chil­dren. Schou is cur­rently search­ing for a Chi­nese busi­ness part­ner to bring the prod­uct to the Chi­nese mar­ket.

Col­lab­o­ra­tions with for­eign

Randy Wang,

project di­rec­tor of

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