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Press Release for July 23, 2019 Media Briefing by the Shanghai Municipal People’s Government

July 24, 2019

The Information Office of Shanghai Municipality held a press conference today (July 23). Xu Jiong, deputy head of the publicity department of the CPC Shanghai Committee and director of the Shanghai Press and Publication Bureau, updated the press with the preparatory work the city has done for the upcoming 2019 Shanghai Book Fair and took questions from the reporters.

Running from August 14 to 20, the 2019 Shanghai Book Fair, (hereafter referred to as Shanghai Book Fair) is the 16th of its kind ever held in the city. Shanghai Exhibition Center will remain the main venue for the event this year with total exhibition area reaching 23,000 square meters. Meanwhile, more than 100 parallel venues will be set up around the city. And for the first time in cooperation with renowned bookstore chains that have national networks such as Zhongshuge, this year’s fair will have around 50 parallel venues in the Yangtze River Delta region as well as cities in other parts of China. Below is the latest updates on its preparatory works and the main characteristics of this year’s book fair.

I.Holding the banner of “Seventy Years of Magnificence, New Era for Further Progress”

2019 marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China and is a year of key importance as China embarks on a decisive stage of building a moderately prosperous society and achieving its first centennial development target. Publishing houses around the country have therefore published a large amount of books that depict, elaborate and summarize the notable achievements and successful practices regarding China’s economic, political, cultural, social and ecological development as well as the enhancement of people’s livelihood. With a theme of “Seventy Years of Magnificence, New Era for Further Progress,” the book fair is catching this opportunity to do publicity works for the country’s ongoing “Remaining true to our original aspirations and keeping our mission firmly in mind” national campaign mainly through organizing a series of book-reading events under the theme. At the entrance to the main venue of the book fair, publications about the Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era will be displayed and they include the latest published “Outlines of the Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era,” various versions of “Xi Jinping: The Governance of China II” in multiple languages and the offprint on the latest important remarks made by General Secretary Xi Jinping.

Shanghai Century Publishing (Group) Co Ltd, China Publishing Group Corp, China International Publishing Group and Sichuan Publishing Group, or the province of honor at this year’s fair, will all designate a specific area at their exhibition booths where the newest books and publications about the Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, achievements and practices the People’s Republic of China has accomplished over the past 70 years, the “red revolutionary” cultures, as well as the traditional Chinese cultures will be collectively displayed to demonstrate what has been achieved by domestic publishing houses over the past year.  

A pavilion with a theme of “Seventy Years of Magnificence, New Era for Further Progress” will be set up at the entrance to the E1 Hall where more than 1,000 types of books about the Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, the “Remaining true to our original aspirations and keeping our mission firmly in mind” national campaign, the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, as well as those included in a key publication list designated by the publicity department of the Central Committee of the CPC will be displayed for sale.

Cihai is regarded as a benchmark at the Chinese publishing industry, especially the Shanghai publishing industry, to “produce fine cultural products for heritage”. It is revised every 10 years, and this year will see the launch of the new edition, or the seventh edition. To mark this occasion, the book fair will host an exhibition to commemorate the achievements of cihai, and dictionary compiling industry, in the past 70 years since the founding of People’s Republic of China at one side of the preface hall.

Key events include:

A forum hosted by the book fair organizing committee, Jiefang Daily and Jing’an government will discuss the delight of reading books. It will invite three to four important guests to talk about a new age created by people who are working hard.

The book fair will also host book launch ceremonies, workshops and events for readers to meet authors for about 200 publications.

During the book fair, the China International Publishing Group will host a meeting for authors of good books for foreign readers; the Shanghai People’s Publishing House will hold a reading event to commemorate the 70th anniversary of Shanghai’s liberation; the China Publishing Group Corp will host a ceremony for the launch of its first book store in Shanghai. Besides, the book fair will continue to hold lectures to introduce new books by renowned writers. The 16th book list by Jiefang will also be unveiled during the fair.

II. The “7 series” for quality reading

The Shanghai Book Fair launched the “7 lectures in 7 days to study traditional Chinese culture” last year, which was an innovation to create a series of selective reading events for one category of books. The success was a result of readers’ pursuit for quality reading and the fair’s encouragement for such reading. Therefore, the book fair will continue to host such events this year. Altogether 10 events will be hosted, including:

1.7 events for role models

2.7 lectures in 7 days to study traditional Chinese culture

3.7 lectures to talk about dictionaries

4.7 lectures to talk about literature

5.7 lectures to talk about new books by renowned writers

6.7 lectures to talk with scientists

7.7 lectures to read children’s books

8.7 lectures about areas in the south of Yangtze River

9.7 lectures by the China Publishing Group Corp

10.7 seminars on Victor Hugo

III. Embracing innovation and new technologies, and tapping new business formats

In recent years, new technologies have rapidly changed and reshaped all aspects of the book publishing industry. Not only are digital books challenging the selling of paper books, online book selling channels are also challenging physical book stores, but traditional business formats and are constantly being updated, for example physical bookstores are taking on a new look to reflect the latest consumer trends and preferences.

The Shanghai Book Fair is also a traditional form. In a new era, it shall also actively focus on the development and application of new technologies, and explore how to adapt to the readers' demands for new experiences.

At this year's book fair, the following measures will be taken:

1. Continue to use the official website of the book fair, official accounts on Weibo, WeChat and all kinds of social media platforms to provide all kinds of service information at any time, and strengthen the publicity ability through all kinds of media channels;  2. Leverage the “Cultural Shanghai Cloud” to offer online ticket sales channels; 3. Improve the mobile payment service at the main exhibition hall; 4. Continue to launch the “Shanghai Book Fair Online Exhibition” to include more services such as online book exhibition bibliographic inquiry, activity inquiry, online book purchases, among others; 5. Improve the online live-streaming system for major events during the book fair.

For the first time, an online “Mobile Book Fair” accessible from smartphones would be launched. Using the most commonly used WeChat platform, the “Shanghai Book Fair” WeChat mini-program will be available and more than a thousand event information of the main venue of the book fair as well as those at other venues would be posted on mini-program. WeChat users can learn about relevant events during the book fair more easily and more efficiently so they would be able to participate in offline activities more timely.

For the first time this year, the Himalayan online streaming application will set up a Shanghai Book Fair audio book listening sector, with seven themed channels, and classic literature readings sections. At the same time, it will offer free audio books packages which are limited edition during the Shanghai Book Fair, and a total of 70 books will be available everyday.

For the first time, China Literature Group would recommend 70 books for readers to download the digital versions to read on their smartphones. At the same time, it would continue to organize the “Internet Literature Living Room” activities, and will hold the launch ceremony for the publication of paper books of online literature works such as “Shanghai Prosperity”.

At last year’s book fair, “Yitiao” and other Internet companies adopted a new model to showcase books at the book fair and readers can order through online marketplaces. Through this way, books would be delivered through courier services and the book vendors don’t have to carry all the books to the exhibition venue to occupy spaces. In this way readers can also have a more enjoyable reading environment and an online buying process which is more efficient and cost-effective. This may also become a new trend for the book fair to adopt to transform its exhibition format. This year, this new model will once again appear at the book fair.

The China Physical Bookstore Innovation and Development Annual Conference to be held during the book fair this year will focus on topics such as “the transformation of book stores driven by capital integration and technological innovation”, and would explore topics such as how technology elements and factors such as the Internet, big data, cloud computing, artificial intelligence would affect the transformation of the book publishing industry and especially bookstores.

IV.Value openness, adhere to internationalization, and improve the degree of integration

Shanghai Book Fair always bases on the character of the city, pays attention to openness, and builds a platform for publication culture exchanges with international influence. The nine-year-old Shanghai International Literature Week will promote exchanges and mutual learning between Chinese and foreign literature and culture by holding forums, literary dialogues, lectures and “poetry nights” and other forms of more than 50 activities. The theme of this year’s International Literature Week is “homeland”, exploring how humans can find spiritual homes, from using knotting string to remember to writing, and from music to fine art. Guests of this year’s Literature Week include British writer Lyndall Gordon, Japanese writer Kakuta Mitsuyo, Hirano, Norwegian writer Roy Jacobson, Turkish writer Elif Shafak, Chinese writers Sun Yong, Ye Zhaoyan, Ning Ken and Ma Yuan, totaling 33 famous writers from home and abroad.

During the book fair, the Pearl Art Museum, a subsidiary of Shanghai Xinhua Distribution Group Co Ltd and the Paris Museum Alliance (Maison de Victor Hugo) jointly organized a large-scale exhibition “Victor Hugo: The Heart of Genius” (Exhibition running from August 13 to December 1). More than 200 pieces of Hugo will be exhibited. The space of light· Xinhua Bookstore will gather various versions of Hugo Anthology, Hugo’s classic works and other works of French literature masters in the same period, launch a special book exhibition, and hold a series of literature lectures on “Hugo’s Seven Days in Shanghai”.

The “Library of Original Edition Book” of this year’s book fair will continue to be built by Shanghai Book Traders, Shanghai branch of China National Publications Import & Export (Group) Corporation (CNPIEC), China International Publishing Group, Shanghai Hong Kong Sanlian Bookstore, etc., and will display more than 10,000 original books from all over the world.

The book fair will continue to hold the “World’s Most Beautiful Book” design art exhibition, showing the “World’s most beautiful book” award-winning works.

V.Push forward “initial publication”, provide good service, and gather good book in Shanghai

Attract new books to Shanghai for the initial publication, and then introducing them from Shanghai to the national market. The “initial publication mechanism” has become an important measure of the Shanghai Book Fair to serve the whole country and the whole industry. This year’s book fair strives to introduce 500 new books from Shanghai and other regions’ publishing houses, and launch 200 initial publication and signing activities.

The main venue of the book fair will bring together more than 500 publishing houses and more than 160,000 kinds of fine books from all over the country to entertain readers. At the same time, the book fair will launch physical bookstore branch venue and the cloud conference venue, further expanding and enriching the variety of exhibiting books, and strive to meet the needs of readers to the greatest extent.

The “Guest of Honor Province” model of the Shanghai Book Fair focuses on the latest achievements in the field of publishing culture in various provinces and cities. This year’s guest of honor province is Sichuan with strong development momentum in recent years. The Sichuan publishing exhibition group will hold a press conference before the opening of the book fair to introduce key books and reading activities in detail.

The main venue of the book exhibition will once again set up a social science boutique and a “tribute to the master”theme bookshelf, focusing on the exhibition and sale of more than 10,000 kinds of recently well applauded and popular books filtered by big data technology, and will give priority to the venue, time and media promotion for the relevant reading activities.

The book fair will also set up a “Sinology Hall” to display Chinese traditional cultural classics and classic representative works selected by domestic first-class ancient book publishing institutions and experts; the “Literature Pavilion” focuses on setting up special bookshelves for award-winning authors, such as “Mao Dun Literature Award” and “Lu Xun Literature Award” and the original Chinese science fiction literature; the “Yangtze River Delta Publishing Boutique”, focuses on “red culture, Shanghai culture, Jiangnan culture”, the exhibition and sale of good books recently published in the region; the “scientific and technological innovation” special bookshelf focuses on the latest books on cutting-edge technology and subversive technologies such as the Internet, big data, artificial intelligence, biomedicine, etc.; China International Publishing Group’s exhibition booth will set up an area for the “Publishing Achievements : Celebration of the 70th Anniversary of New China.”

This year, we will hold the China Bookstore Innovation and Development Annual Conference and the Yangtze River Delta Private Bookstore Symposium to gather leading professionals in the country’s publishing industry. The conference and symposium will discuss how the business of bookstore can be sustainable as well as gather the leaders of the private chain bookstores in the Yangtze River Delta region to discuss how to promote the high-quality development of the Yangtze River Delta.

VI.Shanghai Book Fair will benefit readers with one district and one characteristic to make an atmosphere of reading around the city

With the help of the public, this year’s book fair will continue to distribute reading and cultural resources throughout the city. Take August as a period of time, the book fair will host high-quality reading activities with more citizens involved under the model of “same theme, fixed place and combination of exhibition and sales.” First, the organizer of Shanghai Book Fair will work hand in hand with the 16 districts of the city to promote the “one district, one characteristic” reading activity to further improve the brand’s maturity. During the book fair, responsible persons from seven districts will be invited to conduct interviews on the reading activities and public reading cultural space construction. Second, the city will host parallel sessions which consist of the public reading cultural space such as libraries, bookstores, community cultural service centers and farmer bookstores.

This year’s book fair will set up 100 parallel sessions in urban and rural areas. In addition, the book fair will add 50 stores in various places in the country as parallel sessions including Zhongshuge, Sisyphe, Yanjiyou, the bookstore under SDX Joint Publishing Company. The organizer will further strengthen the national influence of the Shanghai Book Fair and promote good Shanghai edition books.

VII.Excellent service, focus on refinement and improve satisfaction

The book fair will still be held for 7 days and nights (open at 9:00 every day, closed at 21:00), 50 percent discount in nights, and continue to improve the convenience of sales of tickets online.

The book fair will continue to set up the consultation service desk, the reader’s rest area and provide convenience services such as shopping guide, express delivery, mailing, commemorative stamp, catering, medical first aid, legal consultation, complaint reception, lost and found, WiFi coverage and other services to the public.

The book fair will enhance the comfort of the audience on-site experience, continue to set up spray cooling devices in the queuing area of the main venue and optimize the arrangement of important guests in the day and night. The main venue of the book fair will ban activities related to investment and wealth management and health-related books to avoid excessive crowds and long-term stays. At the same time, the organizer will strictly evaluate safety risks and carefully handle such activities based on the conditions of parallel sessions.

The book fair will further leverage various media to provide timely service information. The organizer will continue to set up special services such as mobile phone charging area and Shanghai Library on-site library card application as well as organizing college students to provide on-site services such as navigation and guidance.

This year’s book fair will, as always, adhere to the principle of safety first, prevention first, strengthen precise control and do its best to prevent fire, epidemic and congestion, and make full preparations in case of typhoon, flooding or high temperature to better ensure the public safety.