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The Beijing International Book Fair (BIBF), Asia’s largest book fair, is set to go ahead on 14-18 September 2021 after postponement from August dates due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Important Chinese publishing houses, international publishers based in China and related exhibitors will gather in Beijing for a five-day fair where BIBF hopes to build a bridge for overseas publishers to renew direct connections to the Chinese market. Over 2,200 Chinese and international publishers are anticipated to attend BIBF in either online or physical format.

In parallel with the five-day physical book fair, the digital edition of the book fair will be held via BIBF’s upgraded digital platform SMART!BIBF so as to facilitate the participation of those who may not be able to come to Beijing in person. SMART!BIBF will continue to be available throughout the year for publishers to get in touch with Chinese counterparts after the book fair.

The BIBF International Publishing Forum is set to open on Sunday 12 September. The forum this year will discuss the role of publishers and the publishing community in building a better future, with a special focus on how new technologies will empower new development in publishing, in particular for the Education and STM professional publishing sectors.

The forum will be hosted by Zhang Jichen, Vice President of China Publishing Group Co. Ltd. and President of China National Publications Import & Export (Group) Co. Ltd and features Chinese speakers including Wu Shulin, Vice Chairman of the Publishers Association of China, Huang Zhijian, Chairman of China Publishing Group Co., Ltd. and representative from Huawei Technology, and international speakers including Martin Albrow, Fellow of the British Academy of Social Sciences, Dr Phua Kok Khoo, Chairman and Editor-in-chief of World Scientific Publishing in Singapore, Joe Lam, Managing Director of Pearson China and East Asia, Ahmed Farooq, Deputy Head of the Embassy of Pakistan in China and Professor Yuri Tavrovsky from the from the Experts Council for the Russo-Chinese Peace, Friendship and Cooperation Committee.

BIBF Director Ms Liying Lin said: “We are delighted to welcome Chinese and locally based international publishers back to BIBF. As you can see from the phenomenal success of international titles in the Chinese book market in the last six months, there are so many opportunities for international publishers in China. We hope as many international publishers use our SMART! BIBF services to engage with the publishing community and really find out what is going on in the market over the last year. We cannot wait to open this vibrant book industry event and we are delighted to be able to host events around Beijing for book lovers as part of BIBF’s Global Reading Festival.”

The Chinese book market continues to turn in some impressive figures.  According to stats body Open Book, in the first half of 2021, the retail book market scale will reach 36.14 billion yuan, with more than 1.77 million titles for sales, a year-on-year growth rate of 11.45%.

Open Book notes that in in the first half of 2021, the sales of children’s books through live-streaming short videos in e-commerce platforms has become the biggest market sales channel, with 58.54% of the total sales.