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Home >> China
UPDATED: 17:16, April 25, 2006
China welcomes foreign cooperation on press and publication
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China encourages foreign media, press and publication groups to cooperate with China to tap the international cultural market potential for common prosperity and bring China's cultural products to the world.

Liu Binjie, Vice Minister of the General Administration of Press and Publication made the remarks when answering questions by foreign journalists in Beijing.

Liu Binjie said China has honored its WTO commitments on opening its publishing market and Chinese laws and regulations have clearly framed the sectors that are accessible to overseas investors.

He reiterated the rule of prohibiting non-Chinese mainland citizens from setting up press and publication entities within the Chinese territory. But he said that does not rule out cooperation with overseas press and publication industry.

Foreign publications can come to Chinese market

As long as approved by the Chinese government, foreign and overseas media groups and organizations of press and publication can establish offices in China and arrange interviews and business activities.

There are three ways for overseas newspapers, journals, books and audio & visual products to get into China legally. The first is through relevant Chinese imports and exports companies. China has imported a large number of such products in recent years. The second is subscription. Any Chinese or foreign units or individuals in China can subscribe freely any publications legally published in any country. Copyright cooperation also have brought many newspapers and journals into China.

Any publication against the Chinese law or produced and brought into China illegally is not allowed.

Market for publication is fully open to overseas and foreign investors. Cooperation on distribution is possible, either in retail, wholesale or other forms.

Market demand decides imports of foreign books

With fast growing economy and social undertakings in China, readers are more interested in foreign books in science and technology, rather than those in politics or religion. Since foreign publications in politics and religion do not comport with the Chinese culture, there isn't much demand in this field. Thus it is natural that there are fewer such products in the Chinese market.

The further opening up will lead to more cooperation on press and publication and more opportunities for foreign companies.

However, cooperation between press and publication entities within China and those overseas based is always subject to the approval of the regulators under the central government. The US based rock magazine Rolling Stone was suspended in China because it had not gone through legal procedures required for such cooperation.

Laws and regulations are made long time ago

Liu stressed that the Chinese government had clarified the opening of the press and publication sector long time ago. The printing sector is open. Foreign media groups and overseas capital can seek for cooperation chances in this business. Distribution of publications is also fully open. Foreign investors can make presence here in forms of either sole ownership or partnership. Foreign companies can participate into the research and development of game and animation software. The technical fields of the media is accessible, including the network, digital, publishing and distribution technologies.

When it comes to the content, there are also a lot of opportunities of cooperation to exploit. Any domestic or overseas media groups can join hands with Chinese publishers. Copyright trade is another choice. China has bought more than 4,000 copyrights from the United States in recent years while the US has imported only 16 from China. That proves the Chinese market is open.

Newspapers can collaborate on columns, information exchanges and the international pages. However, no commitment is made on the editing and publicity by China out of the consideration of the cultural security. Most developed countries didn't make that commitment either.

Well-established overseas magazines can team up with their Chinese counterparts. There are many examples in this sector, which have been initiated by Chinese publishers or foreign publishers. The regulator is responsible for approving the specific projects. A wrong partner or any partnership without permission constitutes illicitness.

Foreign equipment is imported through the fully open market. The exhibition for equipment of audio-visual and animation production in Shanghai and the trade fair for printing machines and duplicators in Guangdong are two examples of platforms of such imports. There are very few supplies of China-developed equipment for printing and duplicating.

Investors can refer to the investment catalogue issued by the National Development and Reform Commission for detailed information about the opening of the equipment sector.

By People's Daily Online

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