Government To Consider Allowing Private Investment in Publishing Market

April 19, 2005

The Chinese government may open the publishing industry to domestic private investment, according to an article originally published in the Beijing News and reprinted April 15 on the People's Daily Web site. The report says that the General Administration of Press and Publication is formulating a policy to allow China's state-owned book publishers to accept private investment through joint venture stock purchases. The report cited a private book store manager as saying that, in the future, 90 percent of publishers would be transformed into business enterprises. The report emphasized, however, that any participation would be limited to domestic private investors, and foreigner investors would not be allowed to enter the publishing market. The article noted that, while not technically legal, domestic investors have been investing in China's publishing industry for over two years, with some private publishers putting out over 100 books in a single year. According to the report, private publishers have achieved this growth through the illegal purchase of book numbers.

For more information on how the Chinese government prohibits Chinese individuals from publishing freely, see the CECC's prior restraint flow chart.