China South Publishing & Media Co. Ltd. was established in 2008 to operate the publishing businesses owned by Hunan Publishing Investment Holding Group, which was created in 2001 as an investing and operating enterprise authorized by the Hunan Provincial Government. The group operates and manages all of the companies’ state-owned assets and public institutions owned by the former Bureau of Press and Publication of Hunan Province.

China South Publishing & Media Co. Ltd was listed on the Shanghai stock exchange in 2010. As a multi-media publishing group it produces a wide spectrum of media products and is involved in editing, printing, distribution and investment. Book publishing includes trade, textbooks, educational materials, multimedia products, and investment.

China South’s publishing business is carried out by twelve publishing houses; as a retailer, the company has become the largest bookseller in the Hunan Province. Recently, the group has established a digital publishing unit that plays a crucial role in their strategic transition.

Subsidiaries of China South Media include China South Media Hunan Publishing Center Branch Company, China South Media Hunan Education Publishing House Branch Company, Hunan People's Publishing House Co., Ltd., Hunan Literature & Art Publishing House Co., Ltd., Hunan Yuelu Publishing House Co., Ltd., Hunan Science & Technology Publishing House Co., Ltd., Hunan Juvenile & Children's Publishing House Co., Ltd., Hunan Fine Arts Publishing House Co., Ltd., Hunan Electronic Audio & Video Publishing House Co., Ltd. The company operates mainly in China’s Southern Hunan province.

Analysis & Key Developments


In fiscal 2014, China South experienced a boost in revenues and earnings. Revenues climbed from 13.77 billion RMB to 15.99 billion RMB. Earnings increased to 1.53 billion RMB against 1.13 billion RMB. The company benefited from its role as sole education textbook supplier in the province of Hunan and its high share in textbook markets of other regions.

Also China South’s retail operations performed well. According to the statistics provided by Chinese retail monitoring service OpenBook, the company had a 3.63% share in the Chinese trade retail market in 2014.

Internal Organization

In 2013, China South added to its investment in traditional publishing companies by partnering with the Hunan Publishing Investment Holding Group Company Ltd. to establish the Hunan Education Television Station. The deal was worth 300 million RMB.

The targeting of TV and other media outside book publishing reflects the company’s overall strategy under the central government’s policy to encourage publishing and media giants to expand across media and content formats.


China South generates 74% of its revenues within the province of Hunan. China South is one of the Chinese publishing groups included in the government’s plan to play an important role in international markets, with digital strategies at the core. The company began to lay the groundwork in 2011 by launching joint projects with leading Chinese digital companies such as Huawei.


Together with the telecommunication company Huawei, China South established its digital education arm, Tianwan, in 2010. Its core product is AiSchool, a cloud-based learning solution that targets K12 schools. AiSchool experienced rapid growth and made a positive contribution to the division. The system is used by more than 1,000 schools in 16 provinces. Tianwan posted revenue of 233 million RMB in 2014 and plans to expand in overseas markets.


Seventeen of the company's books were listed on OpenBook National’s Top 50 Bestsellers, and 31 books were included on the bestseller lists 120 times. The company’s bestseller Passing by Your World sold over 3 million copies and was one of the bestselling books in China in 2014. The company also found success with translated titles such Hot, Flat, and Crowded, How to Make the World a Better Place, and Only the Super Rich can Save Us, which China South introduced to the Chinese market. Sales from Stephen Hawking books such as A Brief History of Time, The Universe in a Nutshell and The Grand Design soared above previous levels for science titles.

Note: China South is fully listed in this ranking for the first time in 2015, as respective detailed and authoritative information has been made available by the group for this ranking through cooperation with the Chinese independen publishing industry news service BookDao.

Click here to return to the full listing of the world's largest publishers.