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Nobel laureate likely to become China's richest writer

By Pang Li  (

09:51, October 26, 2012

Chinese wirter Mo Yan. [file photo]

Mo Yan, the first Chinese national to win a Nobel Prize in Literature, is likely to earn about 200 million yuan (US$32 million) this year, thus becoming the top earner among Chinese writers, China Economic Weekly magazine reported.

The first large payment that Mo will receive is the US$1.2 million prize money. He will also get a large amount of royalties from his books which have become best-sellers across China since he won the prize.

Beijing Genuine & Profound Culture Development Co., Ltd., a publisher which owns the rights to all of Mo's works on the Chinese mainland, launched the writer's collected plays on October 17, seven days after Mo won the Nobel Prize, with 200,000 copies of the first edition. If all books are sold, Mo can get at least 40 million yuan (US$6.4 million) in royalties based on a royalty rate of no less than 10 percent.

The company said they would soon publish Mo's collected works including novels, short stories, essays and prose. It is said that the company will print up to 1 million copies. If so, Mo's royalties are projected to be 70 million yuan (US$11.2 million). Therefore, the Nobel winner is likely to earn 110 million yuan (US$17.6 million) in royalty payments alone.

Meanwhile, Mo's works have become the most sought after materials for film and TV adaptations. Zhang Xuanyang, a publishing planner at the company said that adaptation rights have been sold for over 10 million yuan (US$1.6 million).

In addition, Mo, seen as a proud son of Shandong Province, is expected to receive millions of yuan in awards from local provincial governments.

Xue Shengwen, a senior researcher at CIConsulting, an industry research and consulting firm, said in the long run publishers would benefit hugely from skyrocketing sales of Mo's books both in China and abroad, and films or TV shows adapted from his works will enjoy a strong box office performance.

Another analyst said: "Mo Yan will generate considerable revenues for many companies over the next three to five years. But it is hard to predict how big the revenues will be. China has not won a Nobel Prize in Literature before, so it is unclear how the market will react."

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