Development of Taiwan books in the Mainland China market

Taiwan’s books written in traditional Chinese are popular among “literate youth” in Mainland China, but books imported from Taiwan are expensive, therefore for them Mainland China’s market remains unexplored. At present, Taiwanese books come to Mainland China through book fairs, which is a good way to spread Taiwan’s soft power.

In 2016, Beijing book-order conference will be held between January 7th to January 9th, Taiwan will host a “Taiwan book special corner” to attract audiences.

Aiping Luo, the Chair of Taiwan Cultural Alliance told reporters in a recent Chinese article that the most popular types of Taiwanese books in Mainland China are medicine, comic books, fashion, and children’s books, while any book that involves Taiwan-China hostility or ideology are restricted. She says that all the books introduced to this conference will be examined for approval, and that there are few political books aside from some books that are Anti-Japanese.

Taiwanese books have high prime costs, and imports into Mainland China require tariffs,therefore the price of Taiwanese books is normally 2 times higher or more than Mainland China-produced books. The chair of Taiwan’s publishing committee, Zhenghong Wu says that because every Taiwanese book is about 2 times more expensive than Mainland Chinese books, therefore publishing agencies have to corporate with large bookstore in Mainland China to import Taiwanese books.

Mr Wu believes that despite higher prices, Taiwanese books have distinct cultural soft power and they have great potential to open up in the Mainland China market. At present, Taiwanese books are introduced to Mainland China through book fairs, and by inviting Taiwanese writers or intellectuals to give talks, he is confident that these approaches will make Taiwan’s soft power more accessible and influential for Mainland Chinese readers, so as to “ to create more additional value to Taiwanese books.”

In the upcoming 29th Beijing Book-order conference, Taiwan’s publishing committee confirms that 34 Taiwanese publishing companies, 144 publishing agencies, more then 3000 books that are published within the past 2 years will come to this conference, with topics ranging from history, culture, fashion, medicine and illustration.

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