• Table of contents

    • [+]Preliminaries (3)
    • [+]Introduction (4)
    • [+]Latin America (13)
    • [+]Sub-Saharan Africa (9)
    • [+]Arab World (11)
    • [+]Russia (11)
    • [+]India (11)
    • [—]China (9)
    • [+]Conclusions (6)
    • [+]Appendix (1)


Technical data

  1. Surface area: 9,596,960 km2.
  2. Population: 1,331,460,000 (2009)
    Urban population: 44% (2009)
  3. GDP (nominal): US$ 4,984,731,371,688 (2009)
    GDP per capita: US$ 3,744 (2009)
    Unemployment: 4.2% (2009, official figures)
  4. Official language: Mandarin (Putonghua). There are a host of local dialects.
  5. Politics and society: China is a socialist republic governed by the Communist Party. It is the most populous country on the planet and occupies one of the vastest territories. The system of power rests on three pillars: the Party and – subordinate to it – the Army and the State. China’s current administrative structure is based on three levels: provincial, district and cantonal; there are 23 provinces, 5 autonomous regions, 4 municipalities directly under the central government and 2 Special Administrative Regions – Hong Kong and Macao –; China considers Taiwan its 23rd province. The country has been under communist rule since the middle of the last century but over time the introduction of liberalizing political and economic reforms has made China one of the countries with the greatest development prospects.
  6. Internet penetration: 31.6% (2010)
    Mobile phone penetration: 60% (2010)
  7. Literacy: 94% (2008)
  8. Publishing industry: The Chinese publishing sector is going through a phase of opening up to the market, which the State itself has encouraged. Although it continues to be one of the industries most tightly controlled by the government, since 2003 there has been a marked trend towards decentralization. From 2006 on, new publishing houses that were previously registered under other categories have been incorporated into the sector. China has almost 600 state-owned publishing houses associated into groups – the largest of which is the China Publishing Group – and around 10,000 private publishers, about 300 of them sizeable. It must be remembered that for decades only public publishing companies have been given authorization to obtain ISBNs, and therefore to publish, which has condemned private firms to remain in a precarious limbo. In the field of electronic publishing, only a few state-run companies and a small number of private ones possess the necessary permits. During the 11th 5-Year Plan (2006-2010), China produced 20 million physical books and in 2010 alone generated earnings of US$ 19.6 billion.

Sources consulted: International Telecommunication Union; Internet World Stats; World Bank; Frankfurt Book Fair; Qiang, Wang, “China’s publishing to go global”, China Daily USA, 12th January, 2011.

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