In China, there are about 585 publishing companies—state-owned as well as independent—involved in the children’s book publishing segment. Of these, about 30 companies specialize in children’s publishing. A quick survey conducted by Beijing-based Bookdao for this PW report has identified 10 of the largest children’s book publishers in China, based on their consolidated revenues. Here is the list in alphabetical order:
● 21st Century Publishing Group
● Anhui Children’s Publishing House
● Changjiang Children’s Publishing Group
● China Children’s Press & Publication Group
● Children’s Fun Publishing Company
● Jieli Publishing House
● Hunan Juvenile & Children’s Publishing House
● Phoenix Juvenile & Children’s Publishing
● Xinjiang Juvenile Publishing House
● Zhejiang Juvenile & Children’s Publishing Group
Among these publishers, only Zhejiang Juvenile & Children’s Publishing House can be considered as a pure-play children’s publisher, with a catalogue focused entirely on picture books and illustrated series. The others are involved, in varying degrees, in the educational and supplementary materials segment, with more than a few also owning children’s magazines and newspapers.
For these major companies, a strong book list combining long-running originals and bestselling translations has worked wonders. 21st Century Publishing Group, for instance, is known as the publisher of France’s Les P’tites Poules and Italy’s Geronimo Stilton, while Zhejiang Juvenile & Children’s Publishing House is famed for its long-running originals Charlie IX & Dodomo and titles from Shen Shixi, the “king of animal stories” in China.
Jieli Publishing House, on the other hand, translated another winning series—Bear Grylls’s Mission Survival—to add to its catalogue, which is best known for series such as Goosebumps, I Spy, and Twilight. And Children’s Fun Publishing Company, launching the country’s first-ever Chinese leveled readers program, has further solidified its reputation as an innovative leader in the marketplace.
As for Changjiang Children’s Publishing Group, its 2015 acquisition of Dolphin Media has significantly boosted its total revenues, and firmly cemented its standing among the major players.
And with the Chinese children’s book segment continuing to heat up, expect more mergers and acquisitions as well as more joint ventures. Some earlier successful joint ventures include 21st Century with Macmillan, Posts & Telecommunication Press with Egmont (resulting in Children’s Fun Publishing), and Phoenix Juvenile with Hachette.