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Checking on the

Academic Book Market in China

China’s academic book segment is flourishing amid market shifts and technological advances

By Teri Tan

This feature is published with the support of the publishers covered in these articles.

This feature is published with the support of the publishers covered in these articles.

T he numbers tell the story: In 1980, when China’s economic reform had just kicked off, its academic community produced no more than 85 journals. Today, that number has ballooned to more than

8,000.

According to the Blue Book of China’s STM Journals

Development, STM journals account for 5,020 of those journals, of which 548 are in English and jointly published with foreign publishers such as Springer Nature, Elsevier, and Wiley. Last October, the STM Report looked at three million articles from 42,500 journals and found that 19% of them came from China—more than any other country, including the U.S. (which published 18% of the papers) and India (5%). Modern academic publishing is relatively new to China. Its oldest university press, China Renmin University Press, was only established in 1955, followed by East China Normal University Press two years later; they were the only two in the country until economic reform. And while the first few aca- demic journals in the West were published starting in the 1660s, the Chinese academic sector did not produce much until after 2005. Since then, however, output, especially in the STM segment, has grown in tandem with the nation’s aggressive R&D initiatives. Throughout the years, the progress in the Chinese academic publishing segment has been tightly linked to the country’s economic reform and R&D investments. And the latter are accelerating: in 2018: China’s National Bureau of Statistics reported that more than 1.96 trillion CNY were spent on R&D—up 11.6% from the previous year—which will no doubt expand academic publishing.

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But much still needs to be done to elevate the segment and its output, say insiders. And that has been the goal of several recent talks aimed at gathering local opinions and international perspectives. Last May, Tongji University and Tongji University Press organized one such forum, which focused on leveraging the strengths of academic presses’ parent universities and using new technologies to publish and disseminate first-class articles and journals. Another one in August, hosted by China National Publications Import and Export Corporation, discussed the future directions of academic publishing and how university presses and researchers should go about promoting academic dialogue and social progress nationally and globally.

Reflecting Academia and Reader Needs

Obviously, the first changes need to come from within, and, for Chinese university presses, this means finding (and expanding) their readership in the domestic market while also carving a niche for their products overseas. Now that these presses have largely been decoupled from their parent institutions to become financially independent entities—as a result of a nationwide restructuring campaign back in 2010—their fortunes (or lack thereof) depend on the ability to diversify their lists to meet market needs. For Wang Yan, president of East China Normal University Press, “long sellers—not bestsellers—are the key to an estab- lished and successful publishing program, and these are the titles that we want to have in our catalogue.” Long sellers, she adds, “live on, get into libraries—public or private—and become a part of the essential collection. With long-seller content, we can extract parts of it to create derivative products, adapt it to fit specific markets, or transform it to fit different platforms or distribution channels. The opportunities are immense.” ECNUP’s Shanghai Maths series is one such title, evolving from a supplementary workbook back in 1993 into a bestselling series that has also been adapted for the U.K.’s school curriculum. Wang and her team also want to fill gaps in the market. “For instance,” she says, “while we have books on mastering math, there are few publications about how famous mathematical equations were derived. This prompted us to publish titles such as Mathematics Masters, featuring lectures by Chinese mathema- tician Hua Luogeng.” Meeting the demands of an evolving book market and digital- savvy consumers requires a nimble publishing operation, Wang adds. “The ability to adapt to and anticipate new demands is critical, especially in these times of instantaneous information- feeding fueled by the ubiquity of mobile devices. Being focused on our strengths and publishing what we know best will keep us on track.” Even with long sellers, Wang wants to go beyond print. “It also should not be extended just to the digital realm. The goal, for a long-selling textbook or educational title, should be to

make use of the content and create a whole ecosystem around it that puts together the author, publisher, reader, and teacher for further collaboration and interaction. The ecosystem must also be enhanced with the application of new technologies and tools such as AI, analytics, Big Data, and social media to make it even more useful and relevant. It will enable the creation of new materials—ancillaries, curated items, lectures, and audio or video content, for instance—that can enrich the repository. Then the content can be ‘hybridized’ for multiformat and mul- tichannel dissemination for a wider reach.”

Digitizing for Wider (and Faster) Access

Digitizing content and creating hybrid products has taken on a frenetic pace, no doubt propelled by growing demand. According to the China Press and Publication Research Institute, 2018 revenues for all digital products—including animated videos, blogs, educational products, games, journals, newspapers, and music—reached 833.78 billion CNY, an increase of 17.8% from the previous year. Sales of online educa- tional products alone accounted for 133 billion CNY. There is no question that the internet has transformed the Chinese academic publishing scene, says Zhu Yongliang, gen- eral manager of Zhejiang Publishing & Media Company: “The availability of a massive amount of information on the internet has popularized online reading, which is fragmented but exten- sive, especially on mobile devices, and this is something new to the publishing industry.” The urgency around meeting demands from the younger generation of users, who are toting mobile devices and con- suming information on the go, is palpable. And for a nation boasting more than 800 million internet users, of whom 98% are mobile-based, the question is no longer whether or when to digitize content but how fast. Guangxi Normal University Press Group, for instance, has nearly 45,000 titles in its catalogue, and 1,000 more are added each year. Zhang Yibing, its chairman, is well aware that he and his team are sitting on a treasure trove of content waiting to be transformed, rediscovered, and monetized. With textbooks, teaching materials, and academic titles (specifically in the humanities) forming the core of GNUP’s publishing program, there are ample opportunities to reformat content to fit a new generation of learners and teachers. Then there are the group’s rare books and archival tomes spanning years of research and collection—such as the 50 volumes on the archaeological and historical findings of Dunhuang and the 283-volume Chinese Maritime Customs Service series—that can be turned into spe- cialized databases for export to libraries and research institu- tions, or integrated into specific courses at local universities. “The past couple of years have seen us working on a digital content transformation and bringing about an integrated pub- lishing program,” Zhang says. “An ERP management system is

Visit publishersweekly.com/academicpublishinginchina2019 to read this special report online.

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now driving our new and more efficient production and pub-

lishing processes, while the projects we marked for digital trans- formation are going through that process. What we want is to create a whole digital learning ecosystem that will add value to, and blend with, our existing print products. Digitization gives

us the opportunity to collect and preserve valuable historical

content for future generations while affording us the capability

to repurpose existing content to meet emerging market needs.

The value of the content to the end user propels GNUP’s digi- tization efforts.” Hua Chunrong, general manager of Tongji University Press,

is also busy laying the groundwork for digitizing and hybrid-

izing his publishing program. “While our press is predomi- nantly print-based,” he says, “digitizing our list, creating a digital database, and making these a part of our publishing and reading ecosystem is the way forward.” Transforming content for the digital world is easy, says Zhang Gaoli, president of China Translation & Publishing House. “Nowadays, all contracts have digital rights clearly specified, and having audio, e-book, and bilingual editions are simple given the processes, tools, and platforms that are available in the market,” he says. “What is difficult lies in the royalty pay- ment, which can get complex in a hurry depending on factors such as volumes, bundling options, and subscription levels.” The digital age also comes with self-publishing, observes Zhu, of Zhejiang Publishing & Media Company. “The boundary between knowledge producer and content editor is blurring, and the threshold in academic publishing is being lowered. Anyone with the right content and credentials can publish an academic article or book nowadays.” He adds, “The questions remain: how do we harness these digital tools and new technologies to transform the Chinese academic publishing industry? How do we parlay the new oppor- tunities emerging from China’s abundant and growing academic R&D into innovative content for both domestic and interna-

tional readerships? These are the new challenges of our time.”

Leveraging New Tools and Models

A slew of new technologies—especially those that are algo-

rithm-driven and cognition-based—is a boon to publishers eager to augment content and shorten the production process. Zhu, of Zhejiang Publishing & Media Company, says that Big Data “makes it possible for publishers to provide knowledge-

based services based on consumer needs and preferences, which

is great for targeted academic publishing. There has been an

exponential increase in the demand for in-depth and specialized field information and research results due to the internet. With semantic search engines, we can now analyze user preferences, usage patterns, the effectiveness of advertisement placements, and so much more. And this is making academic publishing more personalized, accurate, and immediate.” Zhang, of Guangxi Normal University Press Group, says that, “using cognitive technologies and discoverability tools, we are

working on personalizing content and increasing consumer engagement. We want to offer adaptive online courses, microlec- tures, virtual study tours, and other new models of learning and teaching that will take advantage of the digital era that we are in.” Zhu, of Zhejiang Publishing & Media Company, notes that Big Data can also enhance content: “Data analytics makes research results and conclusions more accurate. For scholars, new scientific research tools based on Big Data technology have accelerated the speed at which research can be completed. Technology and the internet have also broken down the bound- aries of traditional classical disciplines to enable the emergence of a large number of interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary research fields, which further enriches the academic publishing segment.” Easy, fast, and secure payment methods have also expanded the market for new business models such as online courses and audio- based language-learning subscriptions, says Zhang, of China Translation & Publishing House. “With the WeChat app, for instance, the consumer can select the course or syllabus required, scan the QR code, and make a direct payment from their bank account to the content provider or creator. It eliminates third- party intervention while simplifying the whole process.” “With these new models,” Zhang adds, “the collaboration between the content provider and publisher goes deeper, as it needs to evolve quickly with immediate content enhancements and direct-to-consumer updates to suit market demand, unlike in print products.” These communications among collaborators and stakeholders on the publisher side have become easier with internet-enabled tools, says Zhu. “Collaborative editing platforms and data ware- houses imbued with Big Data capabilities further speed up the publishing and production processes.” New marketing channels and broadcasting networks can also influence a book’s sales numbers. In 2017, Zhang and his team at China Translation & Publishing House launched Freshman Readings in English—aimed at English-language students at the National Southwestern Associated University—with a first printing of 3,000 copies priced at 78 CNY. Between a series of CCTV documentaries celebrating the university’s 80th anniver-

documentaries celebrating the university’s 80th anniver- Cashless transaction is reshaping book retailing in China;

Cashless transaction is reshaping book retailing in China; see “A Quick Visit to Two Academic Bookstores,” p. 46.

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sary and the book’s popularity on social media networks, sales grew to nearly 100,000 copies. The revised edition with audio, priced at 99 CNY, has already sold 80,000 copies. And companies must be able to keep up with a rapidly evolving social media landscape: platforms such as Dangdang and JD, which were recently very popular, are fast becoming outdated, observes Zhang. “That is the speed at which things are moving.” Other technological questions are on the horizon. With 5G (fifth-generation wireless networks, which are much faster than their predecessors) catching on in China, Hua, of Tongji University Press, sees a need for the industry to evolve to keep pace. “This is going be a big challenge. Information exchanges will happen at a phenomenal speed with 5G, and this will revo- lutionize all industries, including publishing and book retailing. How will TJUP and other university presses adapt to this? How will our industry change in the near future by taking advantage of 5G? How will 5G affect content dissemination, and how will readers utilize 5G in their search for content? These are some of the questions that all of us will need to ask of ourselves and be prepared to answer.”

Tackling the Talent Crunch

Zhu, of Zhejiang Publishing & Media Company, also points out that the Chinese academic publishing industry “needs to culti- vate more qualified and professional talents that can grasp and utilize new digital tools effectively while leveraging on our country’s R&D results and major scientific and technological breakthroughs.” Hua, of Tongji University Press, agrees that the shifts in publishing and bookselling require a new type of talent. “But staff with global views and marketing experience are usually hard to come by. Add the need for a good under- standing of digital and print publications, and the ways to merge them to appeal to today’s tech-savvy and sophisticated readers, and the talent search gets complicated.” Finding employees with translation and localization skills, too, can pose a challenge. “Translation is hard; literary transla- tions and those involving colloquial Chinese are even harder,” says Zhang, of China Translation & Publishing House, who has been in the business for 28 years. “Things related to culture are the most difficult to translate, and if tweaks have to be made, then the story may get watered down and the reader will miss the original flavor and voice.” But, Zhang adds, “there are limited translation resources and talents within the publishing industry. While big companies such as Alibaba or Huawei have offices all over the world and access to a much bigger pool of talent, Chinese publishing com- panies are nowhere near that size or scope. Investments in our book industry are predominantly localized or onshore, and this does not afford us the opportunity to tap the international talent pool. Time and bigger resources are needed to address this issue.” For now, efforts are slowly and steadily being made to culti- vate a Chinese talent pool that understands the hybrid print-

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digital publishing ecosystem. For instance, last September GNUP’s parent university, Guangxi Normal University, launched an app, Duxiu School, to teach digital publishing. It now has more than 200,000 registered users and an average of 12,000 active users per month.

Penetrating Overseas Markets

Chinese academic publishers are exploring new ways to get their products into foreign markets. According to Hua, of Tongji University Press, language remains a major barrier to getting more articles and works by Chinese scholars published in inter- national journals or distributed in overseas markets. “This,” he explains, “is one of the reasons we started our original English publishing program back in 2017. We want to share our R&D results and local experiences with relevant international aca- demics and industries, and one effective way of accomplishing this is to publish directly in English.” The publisher has thus far achieved its overseas penetration through direct exports of its original English titles and copublishing deals with multina- tional publishers. “But,” Hua explains, “‘going out’ [exporting existing prod- ucts to overseas markets] is just the first step. The whole idea now is about ‘going into’ different markets with content that bundles together content written by Chinese scholars that reflects local experiences with content reflecting international perspectives. These new materials, mostly market-driven con- tent, are geared towards a global readership, and through this, Tongji University and our press will be able to spread our schol- arship abroad.” The university, which is known for industry and brand collaborations (including with BASF on sustainable con- struction and rural vitalization, Merck on stem cell research, and Porsche in automotive studies), has followed a similar strategy by publishing English-language journals, including She Ji: The Journal of Design, Economics, and Innovation and Underground Space with Elsevier, and Built Heritage and Pollution Control with Springer Nature. For Wang, of East China Normal University Press, products such as Shanghai Maths and 5-Minute Maths Mastery, which are being adapted for overseas markets, signify the next step in its foreign-market strategy. “Exporting the rights is one thing,” she says. “Having the content adapted for use in schools and collaborating closely with the country’s education ministry is another. Going into overseas markets validates our content as useful, influential, and credible. And it goes a long way in estab- lishing our brand and products.” In the following pages, PW talks with five major academic players to learn more about their publishing activities, visits two academic bookstores, looks at how urbanization is propel- ling R&D programs and the Chinese academic publishing seg- ment, and checks out some of the new titles coming out from

the five publishers.

Note: Exchange rate at time of printing is 100 CNY = $14.11.

The Magic Elephant Books The Magic Elephant Books is a children’s book brand launched by
The Magic Elephant Books The Magic Elephant Books is a children’s book brand launched by

The Magic Elephant Books

The Magic Elephant Books is a children’s book brand launched by Guangxi Normal University Press Group at the beginning of 2015. Our goal is to build a magical kingdom that connects books with children and adults. Readers will have the best children’s books that are enjoyable, fun, and imaginative.

children’s books that are enjoyable, fun, and imaginative. The Launch of Three Overseas Branches in Croatia,
children’s books that are enjoyable, fun, and imaginative. The Launch of Three Overseas Branches in Croatia,
children’s books that are enjoyable, fun, and imaginative. The Launch of Three Overseas Branches in Croatia,

The Launch of Three Overseas Branches in Croatia, Malaysia and Japan

Guided by Guangxi Normal University Press Group, the overseas branches in Croatia, Malaysia, and Japan which are run by The Magic Elephant Books were founded. Through two platforms, one for publication and the other for foreign rights, and one international illustrator center, we are working on enhancing the cultural exchange between China and these three countries, introducing high-quality Chinese stories abroad, and bringing the best cultural products into China. To-date, we have produced over 130 original titles and worked as the publisher and global agent for world-class authors such as Svjetlan Junaković, Yang Shifan, and Huang Shi. Selected titles have been sold and now available in various foreign editions, including Japanese and Traditional Chinese.

editions, including Japanese and Traditional Chinese. Fly, Fly, Fly Svjetlan Junaković & Liu Ben An

Fly, Fly, Fly

Svjetlan Junaković & Liu Ben

An international collaboration between

a Chinese author and a world-class

Croatian illustrator, this rhythmic picture

book is filled with fun and imagination.

It shows all kinds of flying things while

conveying a desire for freedom and

moving upward.

while conveying a desire for freedom and moving upward. No ? Yang Sifan Illustrator Yang Sifan,

No ?

Yang Sifan

Illustrator Yang Sifan, who has been nominated for Biennial of illustrations Bratislava, describes the animals to show their creativity. The things that are considered to be wrong can be all right for something else…

to be wrong can be all right for something else… Moonrise Wang Shuyin A picture book

Moonrise

Wang Shuyin

A picture book filled with Chinese

cultural allusions that combines calligraphy, architecture, sculpture…

Through these pages, the Jade Rabbit in the Moon Palace witnessed the meeting

of the lovers on the Magpie Bridge, saw

the castle in the air, and jumped into the house of Lord Ye with a dragon…

air, and jumped into the house of Lord Ye with a dragon… The Amazing Book Yang

The Amazing Book

Yang Sifan

Selected for inclusion in the 2017 White Ravens Catalogue, each illustration in this book tells a story that shows different views about books from ostrich, penguin, mice, crocodile, giraffe and many other animal friends.

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E stablished in 1973 as China Translation & Publishing Corporation, this state-level institution was originally tasked with translating and publishing documents from the United Nations and UNESCO. Later, it was

split into CTPH and China Translation Corp. to accelerate growth. But the early years left an indelible mark on CTPH. “Those activities gave us plenty of exposure to different coun- tries, companies, and translators, and we got used to working across cultures and languages. So by the time the separation happened in 2015, we were able to reorganize quickly and move aggressively to build our publishing pro- gram,” says president Zhang Gaoli, who launched the Wee Sing series for English- language learning and bilingual Chinese- English editions of Dr. Seuss books just a year later. The current team of 62 people, of whom 35 are editors, recently translated the best- selling series DK English for Everyone and Penguin Great Ideas. CTPH offers about 380 new titles annually (with nearly 10,000 in the backlist) in five major categories: arts and literature, children’s books, education, foreign-language learning, and social sciences. Several original series have spread the CTPH brand beyond the Chinese shores and accelerated its rights-selling and copub- lishing programs. One explores the key market players behind China’s economic rise. “Many people wanted to learn and

understand more about China and its eco- nomic expansion, and that gave us the idea to look into the success stories of local entre-

preneurs and share them with the rest of the world,” says Zhang. The first five volumes of the Chinese Entrepreneurs series are on Jack Ma (of Alibaba), Ma Huateng (Tencent), Dong Mingzhu (Gree), Ren Zhengfei (Huawei), and Wang Jianlin (Dalian Wanda). The second set of five titles—on the leaders of Fosun, Haier, Baidu, SF, and Yangtze River—was launched in early 2019. The series, available in English through CTPH’s copublishing program with London-based LID Publishing, has been translated into 16 languages, including Arabic, Italian, Japanese, Korean, and Portuguese. Another series, From Inside China, offers more glimpses into the country, the mindset of its people, and the ideologies that continue to shape it. Among the 26 titles in the series are: Green Great Wall, Migrant Workers and the City: Generation Now, The People’s Secretary: Fighting Corruption in the People’s Party, and

Zhongshan Road: Following the Trail of China’s Modernization. “Migrant Workers, for instance, has captured the attention of publishers from countries such as Canada and India, where shifting demographics are slowly but steadily transforming their economies from agriculture to service and high-tech indus- tries. So we are able to share our unique challenges and experi- ences with these overseas readers,” Zhang adds. In the series The Sinologists, on the other hand, the voices come from a group of foreigners who know and love China. “How Robin Gilbank from the U.K. or Wolfgang Kubin from Germany look at us as a country and people is vastly different from how we view ourselves. Their perspectives, which highlight the differ- ences and similarities between Chinese and the authors’ own cultures, will foster a better understanding of China as a whole.” Gilbank’s An Englishman in the Land of Qin and Exploring China and Kubin’s Life in China are among the nine titles in this series. CTPH is also known for introducing big-name contemporary ethnic Chinese authors to the international stage through its Kaleidoscope: China’s Ethnic Writers series. Out of the 40 works in the series so far, the most popular have included Tibetan writer A-lai’s Hollow Mountain (with rights already sold to 14 countries), Yi author Jidi Majia’s Identity, Yunnan poet Luruo Diji’s No Water Cleaner Than Tears, and Kazakh author Yerkesy Hulmanbiek’s An Eternal Lamb. Collaborations with overseas companies are plentiful at CTPH, including with

Ankur Prakashani (Bangladesh), Estacion La Cultura (Peru), Havana University Press (Cuba), Kossuth (Hungary), Pyi Zone (Myanmar), Rao (Romania), and Saengdao (Thailand). To date, CTPH has inked more than 300 rights deals with publishers from 23 countries in the Americas, Europe, and the group participating in China’s Belt and Road economic initiative. In May 2018, CTPH signed an agreement to launch the Chinese edition of UNESCO Courier magazine. Zhang says, “With this project, it seems like CTPH has come full circle,

going back to the very first overseas partner that we collaborated with 46 years ago. It also goes to show that, despite the years in between and throughout the major changes in this book market, our goal and commitment as a publishing house remains stead- fast—and that is to bring the best content from China to the

world, and vice versa.”

the best content from China to the world, and vice versa.” Zhang Gaoli, president of China

Zhang Gaoli, president of China Translation &

Publishing House.

—T.T.

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East China Normal University Press

E ducation is at the heart of the mission of ECNUP, which

ranks among China’s top 10 university presses in terms

of sales and influence. A look at its catalogue uncovers

For Wang, Shanghai Maths is a major milestone for ECNUP. “We have been talking about Chinese publications and pub-

lishers ‘going out’ [exporting titles] for a while now. This set of textbooks, which is being considered for adaptation in non- English languages, is about ‘going into’ [adapting content for] different markets. This is exactly what we want to do for other publications as well, but we are starting with our strongest product, and that is mathematics.” Imports and translation activities continue to grow as well. One major project that has kept the team busy for many months has to do with the centennial birthday of philosopher, psy- chologist, and educational reformer John Dewey. One title, Dewey: Record of His Time in China and What He Did, was published in May, followed by a 12-volume Selected Works of John Dewey series. The team has also organized six events, mostly lectures and conferences, on Dewey and his influ- ence on Chinese education. Wang adds, “We have several other big projects going on, mostly single-title publications. One of them is A History of Africa in Pictures, which features photo- graphs—many of which are rare—of old Africa alongside anecdotes and back- ground stories.” Her team is also working with French publishers on titles about music history and feminist studies.

Another groundbreaking and research- intensive publication explores the evolu- tion of ancient Chinese script during the Qin, Han, and Six Dynasties periods in 10 volumes. The research findings will also be made into a digital database to encourage further studies and discovery. “While we want to focus on our strengths in areas such as education and mathematics, we also want to publish meaningful works that address gaps in the Chinese book market and aca- demic publishing, on topics such as feminism. Or have Chinese poets analyze and interpret English poems and vice versa, and publish the original and interpreted selections to showcase the different emotions, experiences, and ideas involved.” The latter

is encapsulated in Third Shore of the Sea, edited by poet Yang Lian. The ECNUP publishing program, Wang says, “aims to attain the highest levels of scholarship and research while creating products that appeal to the reading public. Well- written and in-depth content offers great value to readers and enriches their lives—and this has always been our guiding

principle.”

everything on the subject, including textbooks from

the preschool to the vocational level, teacher education mate- rials, and titles on educational theory and psychology. In spring 2019, ECNUP signed an agreement with SAGE Publishing to publish ECNU Review of Education, an open- access English-language journal that focuses on cutting-edge educational research in China and the world. The journal, according to ECNUP president Wang Yan, “seeks to build a global forum for scholars interested in advancing knowledge, generating big ideas, and exerting a real impact in education.” Prior to that, at the 2018 Beijing International Book Fair, ECNUP signed two cooperation agreements with over- seas partners. The first was with Peter Lang to publish the English edition of China’s Path to Education Modernization, a collection of 10 monographs that provide deep analyses, details, and insights from top Chinese scholars in educational research. The second was with World Scientific Publishing to publish the WSPC-ECNU Series, which showcases major research results since 2012 in areas

including education, literature, philos-

ophy, and sociology. “These two series offer the international academic community valuable studies and viewpoints on the problems, experiences, and traditions of modern-day China,” says Wang. But it is not just high-level academic publishing at ECNUP. Last November, Wang and her team, together with LEGO Group, launched an elementary-school STEAM course. The goal, adds Wang, “is to support teachers in an inspiring, engaging, and effective way while turning Chinese students into collaborative learners with 21st-century skills. We are lever- aging the power of play to develop lifelong skills.” Then there is the 65-volume Shanghai Maths series, the press’s flagship product and its biggest—and most influential— export to-date. HarperCollins, which has had the rights for the U.K. and British Commonwealth territories since 2015, intro- duced the math textbooks to British primary and secondary schoolers, and the set became an immediate hit. Now, another series, 5-Minute Maths Mastery, is being adapted and tweaked to suit the British curriculum.

is being adapted and tweaked to suit the British curriculum. Wang Yan, president of East China

Wang Yan, president of East China Normal

University Press.

—T.T.

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Guangxi Normal University Press Group

44

L everaging GNUP’s more

than 30 companies and

subsidiaries to enhance

its brand and influence

and subsidiaries to enhance its brand and influence Zhang Yibing, chairman of Guangxi Normal University Press

Zhang Yibing, chairman of Guangxi Normal University Press Group.

art and design. Then, in May 2018, GNUP released the first issue of Architecture China at the Venice Architecture Biennale. “This will become a quarterly journal jointly published by ACC, Images, and GNUP and edited by Li Xiangning, deputy dean and professor of architecture and urban planning at Tongji University,” Zhang says. Shi Zhan’s Pivots: 3,000 Years of China was launched during a popular talk show in 2018 and sold more than 50,000 copies within 48 hours. “Its current sales of about 280,000 copies are

indicative of an audience curious about changes within China and its current position on the world stage,” says Zhang. Wu Gou’s Elegant Song: The Visible Civilization, which explores life during the Song dynasty, won the 2018 China Good Book award and has sold 80,000 copies to date. Other outstanding titles from GNUP in recent months include The City of Shadows: Liang Sicheng and Guanghan in 1939/1941, which spotlights Chinese historical sites and cul- tural heritage, and translations of Bob Dylan’s The Lyrics: 1961– 2012 and David Hackett Fischer’s Albion’s Seed: Four British Folkways in America. There has also been a surge in collaborations between GNUP

and countries involved in China’s Belt and Road Initiative. “Our group has invested nearly 10 million CNY in 20 publishing programs to foster cultural and information exchanges,” says Zhang. Oriental Wisdom, a 100-title series of key Chinese clas-

sics, will initially be translated into eight languages (Burmese, Cambodian, English, Indonesian, Lao, Malay, Thai, and Vietnamese). Other projects include a book on the historical friendship between the Chinese and Philippine peoples, a cul- ture and tourism series on the Maritime Silk Road, and a series on the history of Hepu County, a major ancient trading hub. “Chinese publishers, including GNUP, have copublished and traded rights with the West going back several decades. The same, however, cannot be said about neighboring and regional countries—and we are going to ride on the Belt and Road Initiative to rectify this,” says Zhang. “Sharing knowledge while exploring different perspectives is what publishing and GNUP are all about—and this goal transcends culture, geography, his-

tory, and language.”

keeps the group’s chairman, Zhang Yibing, busy and ener- gized. Major acquisitions—of the Australian company Images Publishing in 2014 and U.K.- based ACC Publishing in 2016—have been followed by several new partnerships and overseas branches. The group made collaborative agreements with Asia Think Tank Co. last November, with the goal of connecting with ASEAN member countries, and

Japanese publisher Juritsusha six months later, to create a platform for children’s publishing activities in Northeast Asia. “Together with our Croatian partner, children’s publisher Djecja Knjiga, we hope to create a network that spans Europe and Asia,” adds Zhang, who estab- lished a Macau office in July to forge a link between the Chinese special administrative region and other Portuguese-speaking places. Then there are major translation projects, such as the one with a Malaysian government agency to publish 10 classic Chinese literary works in Malay and vice versa. “This is the first time such a large number of Malay literary works is being exported to China, and for us, it begins a new chapter in interregional

exchanges and understanding,” Zhang says. Arts Bridge—the brand that combines the resources and talents of Images and ACC and is supported by editorial offices in Australia, Singapore, the U.K., and the U.S.—presents an even bigger platform for GNUP. “It gives us the opportunity and space to promote Chinese art, artists, creativity, and design on the international stage” Zhang explains, adding that Arts Bridge had held events at the 2017 Frankfurt and 2019 London book fairs. “We introduced to the world the exceptional art of designer Zhu Yingchun, including his award-winning book The Language of Bugs, and selected ceramic works from Bai Ming. Now, Zhu’s book and Bai’s ceramics are, respectively, found in the British Library and British Museum permanent collections.” The 2017 publication The Beauty of B&Bs, featuring more than 100 outstanding architectural designs, further showcased Arts Bridge’s reach in putting together an international group of editors and publishers with a shared agenda in promoting

—T.T.

PUBLISHERS

WEEKLY

SEPTEMBER

30,

2019

Academic

Publishing

in

China

Tongji University Press

F or 35-year-old TJUP, focusing on the strengths of its parent university’s faculty makes perfect sense. “Art and design, architecture and the built environment, and civil and structural engineering are our three core areas,” says

general manager Hua Chunrong, adding that Tongji University was ranked #14, #18, and #40 in these subjects, respectively, in the 2019 QS World University Rankings. “We started in 2012 by establishing a high-end professional publishing brand, Luminocity, which focuses on urbanism and architecture. Our slogan, ‘reading enlightens the city,’ encapsulates this focus.” In 2017, the team started publishing original titles in English and distributing them worldwide. “We are one of the first in the Chinese academic world to do so,” says Hua. Among the 10 original English titles it has published so far are Neil Leach and Philip F. Yuan’s Computational Design , Mary Polites’s The Rise of Biodesign, and Lan Wang’s Walkable Cities in High Density China. The university’s various joint-degree programs, workshops, and research with visiting professors, mostly from the West, give the press access to “international standards, multicultural viewpoints, and global ideas. At the same time, our local lec- turers—many whom have studied and worked overseas—prefer to write in English on their own or collaborate with these vis- iting professors and fellow researchers. This forms a strong basis for our English publishing program,” Hua says.

basis for our English publishing program,” Hua says. Hua Chunrong, general manager of Tongi University Press.

Hua Chunrong, general manager of Tongi University Press.

Some of these original English publications are breaking the staid academic mold. One such project is the three-volume architectural graphic nonfiction series focusing on contemporary Beijing—798 Art District, Nanluoguxiang, and Sanlitun. Hua says, “Aside from pub- lishing academic titles to sup-

port the faculty, our goal is also to offer accessible, entertaining, and visually attractive titles that can reach the general readership.” The press’s collaborations with overseas publishers are also going strong. Between 2017 and 2018, TJUP signed about 20 copublishing agreements with companies such as De Gruyter, Elsevier, Springer, and Taylor & Francis. This year, TJUP is looking into publishing select titles in Arabic and Kazakh as a part of the pan-Eurasian knowledge network involved in the Belt and Road economic initiative. Hua’s goal for the press is “to publish Chinese experiences and bring Chinese scholarly voices to the world. What we are striving to do through our publishing program is to replace the label ‘printed in China’ with ‘published in China.’” —T.T.

A Quick Visit to Two Academic Bookstores

A Quick Visit to Two Academic Bookstores

The first stop on PW’s itinerary is the tranquil Tongji Bookstore, located adjacent to the junction of two busy roads in Shanghai’s Yangpu district. It fits around 10,000 titles, on topics ranging from arts and design to science and the humanities, into 325 sq. m., and has an outdoor seating area and a garden intended for little exhibi- tions and events. Memories of crammed and dusty academic book- stores of the past are chased away by the bright and open space with creative book displays, no doubt a nod to its parent university’s strengths in architecture and design. “We are creating an ‘urban living room’ that connects academia to the public and offers an inclusive environment to encourage public reading,” says Hua Chunrong, general manager of Tongji University Press, adding that the bookstore was launched to commemorate its parent university’s 111th anniversary on May 18, 2018. “Despite the popularity of e-retailers and social media platforms in selling and buy- ing books in China, there remains an urgent need to have bricks-and- mortar stores, especially as a cultural meeting point for interacting and exchanging ideas. Furthermore, now that we are doing more trade-based titles, proximity to the reading public is essential.” Books aside, the Tongji Bookstore is also known for its little café that serves inky-black pineapple ice cream. The insider joke is that con- suming the ice cream is equivalent to digesting the ink spilled on book pages, or in other words, becoming a learned person.

46

PUBLISHERS

WEEKLY

SEPTEMBER

30,

2019

learned person. 46 PUBLISHERS WEEKLY ■ SEPTEMBER 30, 2019 Tongji Bookstore offers an open and airy

Tongji Bookstore offers an open and airy space for public reading.

Payment for books, coffee, and ice cream is cashless, mostly through Alibaba’s Alipay and Tencent’s WeChat Pay, the two most popular digital wallets in China, which account for 93% of the country’s mobile payment industry. (Various news organizations predict that, by 2020, Chinese consumers will transact nearly $45 trillion through mobile payments, making it the world’s first cashless economy.) PW ’s next stop is Hangzhou, which is about 180 km. away, or around an hour by high-speed train. Here, the 500 sq. m. Boku Tianmu Bookstore, owned by Zhejiang Publishing & Media Company, offers nearly 40,000 titles from various publishing houses and a brand-new look and feel.

continued on p. 48

Academic

Publishing

in

China

Zhejiang Publishing & Media Company

48

Z PMC excels at producing authoritative, major reference works. The China Classic Book Collections, for instance, compiles 690 ancient titles from the pre-Qin to late Qing dynasties into 166 volumes (of more than 170,000 pages)

available in print and digital formats. Another ambitious project is the Zhejiang Literature Collections, of which 500 volumes are already completed, with another 300 to follow by 2022. As for the Complete Works of Mo Yan, 26 out of a planned 47 volumes are now available. Reprints of works by Mo, the first Chinese Nobel Literature Prize winner, have exceeded two mil- lion copies, and rights have been sold to more than 40 countries. Then there is the Complete Works of Edvard Munch, repro- ducing 1,871 works by the Norwegian expressionist painter, which King Harald V of Norway purchased and later presented as a state gift to Chinese president Xi Jinping. But ZPMC is not just about art and literature. There are many STM journals and publications as well, including the China’s Big Scientific Facilities Projects series, which focuses on 13 of the nation’s most important and innovative scientific installa- tions, such as the electron-positron collider and Daya Bay nuclear power plant. Foreign rights were sold to De Gruyter. “Intraregional rights sales and copublishing efforts have been brisk in recent months, particularly with Belt-and-Road coun- tries,” says general manager Zhu Yongliang. “Africa is an emerging market, where our titles on agricultural science and technology and public health and medical treatment are avail-

able in 11 countries and 20 language editions.” In Cameroon, the French edi- tion of one ZPMC textbook series is used by 200 middle and high schools. Behind the scenes, inte- gration and realignment of ZPMC divisions are ongoing. Earlier this year, its large- scale Bookuu Digital Publishing Group was formed to integrate its audio, video, online, and periodical units. “Bookuu Digital offers a knowledge-based service

platform with new media matrix to connect various ZPMC publishing units with writers and readers and to disseminate product information through multiple channels and formats,” adds Zhu. The Bookuu platform, Zhu says, “allows users to set up their own stores independently and have access to add-on functions

such as retailing, e-reading, and e-learning. It combines these activities with social media. The whole idea behind Bookuu Digital and its platform is about meeting industry shifts and

—T.T.

consumer demands.”

meeting industry shifts and —T.T. consumer demands.” Zhu Yongliang, general manager of Zhejiang Publishing &

Zhu Yongliang, general manager of Zhejiang Publishing & Media Company.

continued from p. 46

Last October, the seven-year-old store was relaunched with a cash- less and mostly unstaffed system from Tmall, Alibaba’s third-party business-to-consumer platform for retailers. A shopper enters the store by accessing the Tmall app or Alipay account on his or her mobile phone. The shopper immediately receives a personalized page on Smart Shelf with book recommendations based on previous shopping patterns. More book reviews, related information, and corresponding shelf loca- tions appear on the interactive LCD screens located throughout the store. Each recommended book has a QR code to support online and offline

recommended book has a QR code to support online and offline Boku Tianmu Bookstore adopts a

Boku Tianmu Bookstore adopts a high-tech book retail concept.

browsing and purchase. Tmall’s Smart Payment system then enables the shopper to pay via facial recognition and provides an updated trans- action history through the mobile phone. The shopper’s browsing activi- ties and transaction history are further analyzed for more accurate recommendations of both books and author-related events. “We use WeChat and various social media platforms to disseminate information on in-store promotions and events,” says Zhu Yongliang,

general manager of Zhejiang Publishing & Media Company, which has its own WeChat account to publish information on the store’s weekend events, such as handicraft lessons, flower arranging classes, parent- child games, and book readings. Some 93 events have been held since its October relaunch. Such activities, adds Zhu, “represent our multipronged outreach efforts to foster better understanding of a bookstore’s different roles in a community, and to increase interactions between the bookstore and readers and among the creative, publishing, and reading communities.” In recent months, the local governments of some major Chinese cities are working to support and revive bricks-and-mortar book- stores, which have struggled in the face of intense competition from online retailers and social media platforms. Beijing now has a 50-million CNY fund to subsidize 150 specialty and community bookstores, while Shanghai plans to ensure that each of the city’s major universities (of which there are more than 40) has its own

campus bookstore.

—T.T.

PUBLISHERS

WEEKLY

SEPTEMBER

30,

2019

ZHEJIANG PUBLISHING UNITED GROUP:EJ Zhejiang People's Publishing House Jack Ma: Founder and CEO of the Alibaba Group Jack

:EJ Zhejiang People's Publishing House

UNITED GROUP :EJ Zhejiang People's Publishing House Jack Ma: Founder and CEO of the Alibaba Group

Jack Ma: Founder and CEO of the Alibaba Group

Jack Ma is the founder and CEO of the Alibaba Group, a privately owned Internet based e-commerce company in China whose sales are estimated to be bigger than its American competitors eBay and Amazon. com combined. This book unveils Jack Ma'a thousand faces in real life from different angels, and it reveals a Jack Ma different from your imagination.

:EJ Zhejiang Science and Technology Press

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Quantum Hydrodynamics Equations and Its Mathematical Theory

This book collects and collates the data of quantum hydrodynamic equations and studies its mathematical problems. The contents include: the derivation and mathematical models of quantum hydrodynamic equations; global existence of weak solutions in the compressible quantum hydrodynamic equations; and the existence of finite energy weak solutions of inviscid quantum hydrodynamic equations.

:EJ Zhejiang Children's Publishing House

equations. :EJ Zhejiang Children's Publishing House Ancient City of Liangzhu 5000 years ago, ancient cultures in

Ancient City of Liangzhu

5000 years ago, ancient cultures in different parts of China became civilizations. Liangzhu city is one of the best known from archaeology and reveals what civilization was like 5000 years ago. On 6th July 2019, Archaeological Ruins of Liangzhu City was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage site.This book reveals the 5000-year-old civilization, in three parts:water, city and jade.

:EJ Zhejiang Ancient Books Publishing House

city and jade. :EJ Zhejiang Ancient Books Publishing House Illustrations of Liangzhu Jades Liangzhu, a prehistoric
city and jade. :EJ Zhejiang Ancient Books Publishing House Illustrations of Liangzhu Jades Liangzhu, a prehistoric

Illustrations of Liangzhu Jades

Liangzhu, a prehistoric civilization from 5300 to 4300 years ago, is said to be of China's first dynasty. This book uses archaeological lines to show Liangzhu jade, from the cong, the scepter, to the headwear, ornaments, daily necessitiesof the Liangzhu people. This book clearly presents us the fine art of four or five lines in the Liangzhu jades within one millimeter, so that we can appreciate Liangzhu while enjoying the art.

www.zjcb.com

:EJ Zhejiang People's Fine Arts Publishing House

When Confucian Spirit Southern Elegance

The study traces the calligraphic traditions of the Northern Qi Dynasty. The protagonists are works of calligraphy rendered in bafen shu, or"classical clerical script", and the stylistically consistent group of sutra inscriptions in the Chinese province of Shandong that is closely connected to the calligraphy-monk Seng'an Daoyi.

Meets

connected to the calligraphy-monk Seng'an Daoyi. Meets :EJ Zhejiang Culture and Art Publishing House Binocular

:EJ Zhejiang Culture and Art Publishing House

Binocular Typhoon

More than a decade ago, there was a rape and homicide case in which the innocent person was shot as the murderer. Ten years later, the real killer appeared. There was a division within the police about whether to re-examine the old case or just let it be. Bao Xuefei, a female police officer who was promoted by the case, and Fu Lian, a police officer bent on fighting for the justice of the wronged dead, fought a life-and-death battle.

justice of the wronged dead, fought a life-and-death battle. :EJ Zhejiang Education Publishing Group Content

:EJ Zhejiang Education Publishing Group

Content Introduction for Contemporary China's Science and Technology Stories

This series of books compose the "China Story" in the field of science and technology innovation, aiming at publicizing our major achievements in science and technology innovation, promoting the noble sentiment of scientific and technological workers ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! and their patriotism of selfless dedication, advocating the spirit of science, dedication i i i j i j j l and innovation, and enhancing national self- esteem, leading the social fashion.

enhancing national self- esteem, leading the social fashion. :EJ Zhejiang Photographic Press China the Beautiful This

:EJ Zhejiang Photographic Press

China the Beautiful

This book offers you a panoramic view of the natural and cultural landscapes of China. The book unfolds vivid pictures of the real and the imagined, the country and the universe, the sacred and the mundane. These works are results of photographers' endless search into and boundless love for the Chinese civilization, full of deep admiration about the ancient and rejuvenated Chinese land and good wishes and expectations for China to be more beautiful.

contact at zjcb@zjcb.com

,

© nikada / istockphoto

Urbanization Spurs Major

R&D in China

By Teri Tan

Keeping up with urban demands has benefited various industries, including academic publishing

B y 2030, McKinsey Global Institute predicts, China’s urban population will hit the one billion mark. Just 40 years ago, barely 18% of its population lived in urban areas. Fast forward to September 2019, and that

figure is now nearing 60% out of 1.43 billion people. With the country’s population growing at 0.6% per year amid fast-expanding urbanization, shortages of energy, land, and water are imminent. Calls for sustainable and livable spaces are getting louder. So how will China deal with key issues such as housing, the environment, and transportation while supporting increasing urban population density? Enter smart cities. At the World Intelligence Congress in Tianjin last May, participants were given a tantalizing glimpse of smart-city management with a giant screen displaying real- time information on traffic, the flow of people, and the weather, beamed from a municipal control center. Currently, there are 500 smart-city pilot projects in China, representing half of all such initiatives around the world. For the companies involved, there’s big money to be made: last year, the smart cities represented a 200 billion CNY market that financial organizations predict will double by 2023. So how does Chinese and urban growth push the country’s R&D efforts and academic publishing?

Growing Transit Needs

When it comes to moving the masses in urban areas, the trans- portation system needs to be fast, cost-effective, and reliable

system needs to be fast, cost-effective, and reliable High-speed rail connects 80% of China’s main cities.

High-speed rail connects 80% of China’s main cities.

while severely reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Networks of greener and faster transportation lines linking one city to the next also facilitate inter-city economic integration and promote the growth of second-tier cities along the rail lines. High-speed rail is one such solution. China’s high-speed rail network, which connects 80% of its major cities and covers 30,000 km, is now the largest in the world. Investments in railway infrastructure totaled 802.8 billion CNY last year, with much of the R&D focused on building faster and more efficient trains. Since these trains run on electricity and must be able to draw power from energy sources other than petroleum, R&D in renewable energy has picked up as well. Transportation system simulation and automation laboratories are running at top speed to meet increasing demands. New plans—such as the one announced by the China Aerospace Science & Technology Industry Corporation in August 2017 to develop HyperFlight trains, which can reach up to 4,000-kph speeds, by 2025—are no doubt adding fuel to the R&D efforts. China has one of the most complex traffic infrastructures and driving behavior patterns in the world. (Overseas automotive companies like BMW Group are opening R&D centers to carry out simulated testing and perfect their technologies in the country.) Autonomous driving technologies are being tested in 16 smart cities. This is where R&D on signaling and wireless communication is most crucial. The government also plans to increase electric vehicles on the road to two million units by 2020. Come 2035, China may require that 60% of its auto sales be plug-in hybrid or electric cars, up from less than 5% right now. The Chinese Academy of Sciences’ success in identifying a new, cost-effective way of extracting lithium from other minerals—thus bringing the price of lithium-ion batteries down—may have something to do with this ambitious plan.

Turning to AI and Big Data

Shandong University, ride-hailing company DiDi Chuxing, and the Jinan city traffic police have come together to solve traffic congestion there by using AI, Big Data, cloud computing, and the Internet of Things (IoT). The city’s congestion-reduction system, controlling 36 streets and 450 crossroads, searches for optimal traffic solutions and provides real-time recommenda- tions to drivers through mobile apps and outdoor LED screens. In Hangzhou, Alibaba came up with the “city brain,” which uses AI to prevent gridlock, shorten commutes for the city’s

50 PUBLISHERS WEEKLY SEPTEMBER 30, 2019

© yongyuan dai / istockphoto

Academic

Publishing

in

China

© yongyuan dai / istockphoto Academic Publishing in China Shanghai turns to AI and Big Data

Shanghai turns to AI and Big Data to ease its traffic congestion and park- ing shortage.

seven million inhabitants, and help fire trucks and ambulances reach emergencies faster. It also incorporates crime analytics for predictive policing, intelligent video surveillance, and intrusion detection systems to promote public security. Over in Shanghai, a metropolis known for a chronic parking shortage, a smart-parking network is easing congestion and driver frustration. Its mobile app even allows drivers to book parking spaces in advance. As for Beijing, the government’s drive to integrate AI into the daily lives of its people and introduce the smart-city concept resulted in the launch of a smart park last November. Its features include autonomous shuttle buses and smart walkways and lamp posts that track people’s steps using facial recognition. (Facial recognition backed by AI and 5G wireless internet is another area of interest in China; the government is planning to build a giant database that can identify any of its 1.3 billion inhabitants within seconds. This has raised public concerns about privacy.) Linking various government services to increase convenience for urban dwellers is another common use of AI and Big Data. The governments of Shanghai and Tianjin offer a cloud-based platform and an app through which residents can access more than 100 public services. Cashless, secure, and fast payments through apps such as WeChat Pay or Alipay further allow resi- dents to skip long lines. Not surprisingly, 2018 saw tech companies investing 153 billion CNY in R&D on cloud computing, Big Data, and AI, up 45% from the previous year. In the publishing segment, an initiative launched in July 2018 has brought together researchers and major Chinese universities to collaborate on textbooks about AI. East China Normal University Press, for instance, has introduced six textbooks on AI technological research and development for primary and secondary schools; four more titles will be released this year.

Transforming the Built Environment

Buildings are energy guzzlers, and, in urban areas, creating energy-efficient and sustainable buildings while looking into advanced construction materials is now typical. Corporations and universities, such as Germany-based BASF and Tongji University, are partnering to look into sustainable materials for innovative buildings. Architecture firms, including Milan’s Stefano Boeri Architetti, and municipalities such as Nanjing are working together to implement “vertical forest” buildings. Springer Nature’s publication Spotlight on Materials Science in China highlighted the country’s vast R&D in materials science, an interdisciplinary field that goes beyond construction materials to applications in biomedical engi- neering, which is particularly important to the elderly urban population. Then there is the focus on low-carbon, renewable, and greener sources of energy. R&D on solar fuels and solar cells to find better photovoltaic power generation is (pun intended) pow- ering ahead. China has parlayed the results of such research into massive solar farms and become the world’s largest manufacturer of solar panels (with 60% of the global output). Solar power is now cheaper than grid electricity in many Chinese cities, further driving demand and R&D. By 2020, investment in clean energy R&D—including such areas as smart grids, intelligent build- ings, and hydrogen energy—is predicted to exceed 50 billion CNY. The Chinese Academy of Sciences is widely acknowledged to be the #1 R&D player in the world in sustainable energy. It is also ranked #1 in research output in chemistry, physical sci- ences, and earth and environmental sciences in Springer Nature’s 2019 index of the top 100 natural-science institutions worldwide.

Going Cashless and Staffless

On March 8, Shanghai’s rapid transit system recorded its highest daily ridership at 13.3 million. Moving the city’s population of 24.2 million around calls for reducing lines and crowds. So Shanghai and Beijing (which has 21.9 million inhabitants, compared to New York City’s roughly nine million) are going cashless for their public transportation systems. Beijingers can now buy tickets and add value to their metro cards by scanning QR codes displayed at ticket windows and

machines located at transit stations. E-wallet payments are also common in Beijing’s retail outlets and eateries. As a result, unstaffed stores relying on cashless transactions are springing up. These have prompted tech companies like Tencent to focus their R&D programs on mobile payment platform ecosystems, including machine reading, near-field communications, and security. Tencent’s app WeChat and its e-wallet WeChat Pay have more than one billion daily active users. And sooner or later, the results from all these R&D programs will reach university presses and academic publishing houses for

publication and dissemination.

WWW. P U B LI S H E R SW E E K LY. C OM

51

© tawng /depositphoto.com

A Selection of Titles from Chinese Academic Presses

University presses are transforming their publishing programs to meet local market demands and increase exports

52

By Teri Tan

China’s 110 academic presses are branching out. While texts for scholarly audiences have historically been their bread and but- ter, morphing monographs into titles that are accessible, engaging, and interesting to the general trade readership—without watering down their academic rigor—is definitely the current goal.

I n China, academic publishers’ programs have historically drawn on the research strengths of their parent universities and the nation’s roughly 3,650 R&D institutions, such as the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the Chinese Academy of

Engineering, and the China Academy of Aerospace Aerodynamics. The resulting books have been predominantly geared toward meeting the immediate needs of students and faculty. This is a huge and lucrative market that no university press can afford to ignore: there are roughly 27 million college students, more than seven million graduate students, and close to two million postgraduate students in about 2,915 higher learning institutions in China. Nearly 60% of the country’s book market, valued at around 89.4 billion CNY, is domi- nated by textbooks and materials related to teaching and learning. But after the 2010 nationwide restructuring campaign that brought about the “emancipation” of university presses from their parent institutions, there has been a big push for them to enter the trade market, widen their readerships, and seek their own fortunes. For some Chinese university presses, one way to make inroads into the trade market and secure their bottom lines is to explore topics such as architecture, education, urban development, and societal issues. Titles on these topics can be illustrated nicely and packaged beautifully for mass appeal on bricks-and-mortar store bookshelves, online retailers’ sites, and social media platforms.

PUBLISHERS

WEEKLY

SEPTEMBER

30,

2019

Others see university presses as custodians of public history, taking seriously their mission to grow and spread knowledge about China’s heritage. This results in extensively researched publications on ancient cities, cultural heritage, and past civi- lizations. Such books don’t always have mainstream appeal, but Guangxi Normal University Press Group, for instance, man- aged to combine academic rigor and market-friendliness with Pivots: 3,000 Years of China, which hit the bestseller jackpot with nearly 280,000 copies sold to date. Meanwhile, original publications in English are growing, especially on topics with international relevance, such as the built environment and urban living. Having English-language originals increases export potential (for rights or distribution) and eases translation into other languages. More journals are also being published in English through collaborations with foreign STM publishers, particularly Springer Nature, Elsevier, and Wiley. The following pages list a selection of original publications on offer from the five publishers featured in this coverage. The list starts with China’s first crime scene investigator in the 1200s and ends with a contemporary poverty alleviation pro- gram, and encompasses everything from a lighthearted retell- ings of traditional tales to an analysis of China’s large-scale scientific facilities. Presses have provided the descriptions.

tales to an analysis of China’s large-scale scientific facilities. Presses have provided the descriptions. ■

54

Academic

Publishing

in

China Translation & Publishing House

Publishing in China Translation & Publishing House Final Witness Wang Hongjia This is the story of

Final Witness Wang Hongjia This is the story of Song Ci, China’s first crime scene investigator. He was a judicial commissioner in Guangdong dur-

ing the 13th-century Song dynasty, when the civil service was weighed down by corruption and ineptitude. Just when Song Ci was contemplating retirement, he became involved in a bizarre murder case that surpassed anything he had previously wit- nessed. (790p)

surpassed anything he had previously wit- nessed. (790p) Prayers in the Wind Tsering Nuobu This novel

Prayers in the Wind Tsering Nuobu This novel offers a look at the social and political history of modern Tibet through the reminiscences of an elderly monk, Jikme Wangdrak. Vignettes from the life of the great Tibetan sage Milarepa provide a counterpoint, underscoring the perse- verance, humility, and sacrifice of Tibetans. (586p)

Qi Baishi: From Carpenter to Painting Master Ni Na Qi Baishi is known for his
Qi Baishi:
From
Carpenter
to Painting
Master
Ni Na
Qi Baishi is
known for
his water-
color mas-
terpieces,
which focused on everyday subjects.
The author, who spent nearly 20
years studying Qi’s life and art, offers
a complete biography of the man and
his works. (295p)

East China Normal University Press

and his works. (295p) East China Normal University Press The History of Chinese Education, 4th ed.

The History of Chinese Education, 4th ed. Edited by Sun Peiqing This book offers a comprehen- sive take on the Chinese educa-

tion system by focusing on the culti- vation of talents and expounding its policies, guidelines, management measures, curricula, and pedagogical techniques as well as its experiences and lessons learned, in chapters divided by developmental stage.

(521p)

learned, in chapters divided by developmental stage. (521p) The Road to Educational Equality in the People’s

The Road to Educational Equality in the People’s Republic of China Yuan Zhenguo et al. This history recounts how,

over the past seven decades, the joint efforts of the Communist Party of China and various ethnic groups have transformed the country’s edu- cation system from one that was backward, barren, and weak into a modern model that is high-quality, inclusive, and extensive. (353p)

model that is high-quality, inclusive, and extensive. (353p) Tales of China Series Edited by Melinda Lilly

Tales of China Series Edited by Melinda Lilly Thompson Retold for mod- ern readers of all ages, each of these 74 beautifully illus-

trated Chinese tales is accompanied by audio with vivid sound effects and music. Lexile measurements for each title vary between 420L and 660L, making these engaging tales a sure favorite for kindergartners and adults alike, especially English language learners. (16 titles; 64-148p each)

PUBLISHERS

WEEKLY

SEPTEMBER

30,

2019

China

Guangxi Normal University Press Group

30, 2019 China Guangxi Normal University Press Group The City of Shadows: Liang Sicheng and Guanghan

The City of Shadows:

Liang Sicheng

and Guanghan

in

1939/1941

Xiao Yi Through a batch of pho- tographs, the author “recon-

structs” an ancient city and offers readers a glimpse of the city layout in ancient China and its cultural essence. (492p)

layout in ancient China and its cultural essence. (492p) Elegant Song: The Visible Civilization Wu Gou

Elegant Song:

The Visible

Civilization

Wu Gou

This 2018

China Good

Book award

winner, which

has sold

about 80,000

copies,

depicts various aspects of fashion- able lifestyles during the Song dynasty, including daily diet; the practices of incense burning, tea savoring, and trading; and visits to spring gardens and political partici- pation. (620p)

to spring gardens and political partici- pation. (620p) Pivots: 3,000 Years of China Shi Zhan This

Pivots: 3,000

Years of

China

Shi Zhan

This 2018

bestseller,

which has

sold nearly

280,000 cop-

ies, follows

China’s his-

tory over a 3,000-year period and explains the country’s unique posi- tion in the world today. (720p)

CHINA

REPORTS

Get the insights from Chinese publishers and industry players of different segments on their book market.

players of different segments on their book market. We will bring you the news, updates, and

We will bring you the news, updates, and stories from China prior to the annual Bologna and Frankfurt international book fairs.

www.publishersweekly.com

Academic Publishing in China

Tongji

University

Press

Academic Publishing in China Tongji University Press Little Known Facts: Shanghai Tower Edited by Gu Jianping

Little Known

Facts:

Shanghai

Tower

Edited by

Gu Jianping

This book

compiles and

explains the

engineering

data for

Shanghai Tower, the world’s second largest building, which rises 632 meters, weighs 850,000 tons, contains five underground floors, and operates the world’s fastest elevator. (232p)

floors, and operates the world’s fastest elevator. (232p) Practice of Optimization Theory in Geotechnical Engineering

Practice of Optimization Theory in Geotechnical Engineering Yin Zhenyu and Jin Yinfu This book dis- cusses the development of an optimization

platform for geotechnical engineering. It is intended for both undergraduate- and graduate-level teaching in soil mechanics and geotechnical engi- neering, as well as for use by industry practitioners. (Original English edition,

356p)

by industry practitioners. (Original English edition, 356p) Robotic Force Printing: A Joint Workshop of MIT/ETH/ Tongji

Robotic Force Printing: A Joint Workshop of MIT/ETH/ Tongji Philip F. Yuan and Philippe Block This book doc- uments a joint workshop held

by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), ETH Zurich, and Tongji University in January 2019. Participants learned the fundamental concepts of COMPAS (an open-source computational and design framework) and FURobotic to explore integrating novel structural designs and advances in additive manufacturing and robotic fabrication. (180p)

Zhejiang Publishing United Group

robotic fabrication. (180p) Zhejiang Publishing United Group The Ancient City of Liangzhu Liu Bin and Yu

The Ancient City of Liangzhu Liu Bin and Yu Jingjing In July 2019, the archaeologi- cal ruins of the ancient city of Liangzhu were added to the

UNESCO World Heritage list. Five thousand years ago, ancient cul- tures in different parts of China became civilizations, and Liangzhu city is one of the best known in archaeology. This book for children, written by archaeologists, examines the ancient civilization. (100p)

by archaeologists, examines the ancient civilization. (100p) China’s Big Scientific Facilities Projects Series Edited

China’s Big Scientific Facilities Projects Series Edited by Wang Yifang et al. Big scientific facilities, a fron- tier for interna- tional science

and technology research and devel- opment, are about meeting the demands of a country. Each of this series’ 13 volumes focuses on one achievement of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in building and operating large-scale scientific facilities in the past decade. (13 volumes; 2,210p)

facilities in the past decade. (13 volumes; 2,210p) Don’t Be Cadres Without People in Mind Wang

Don’t Be Cadres Without People in Mind Wang Huimin This journalistic investigation by Wang Huimin, a well-known reporter from the People’s

Daily, focuses on the poverty allevia- tion program in Xiajiang village in Zhejiang province. (227p)