Press Release for Media Briefing of the Shanghai Municipal Government on July 23, 2020
July 24, 2020
The Information Office of Shanghai Municipality held a media briefing today (July 23), during which Xu Jiong, deputy director of Publicity Department of the CPC Shanghai Committee and director of Shanghai Municipal Press and Publication Bureau, introduced the preparation work for the 2020 Shanghai Book Fair and answered questions from reporters.
The 2020 Shanghai Book Fair will be held as scheduled from August 12 to 18. The two key words at the 2020 Shanghai Book Fair are “safe” and “outstanding”. It is necessary to ensure effective prevention and control of the epidemic, and to ensure the fair is held in a safe and orderly manner. At the same time, the fair is expected to lead the reading culture, facilitate the recovery of the industry, and allow readers to feel safe, full of gains, and full of happiness.
The Shanghai Book Fair with the theme “Love Reading, Love life” is the 17th edition this year. Under the support by the Publicity Department of the CPC Central Committee (National Press and Publication Administration), this book fair is guided by the Publicity Department of the CPC Shanghai Committee (Shanghai Municipal Press and Publication Bureau), and supported by the People’s Government of Jing’an District. The fair is held by the Books and Periodicals Distribution Association of Shanghai, and the Council for the Promotion of International Trade Shanghai, and hosted by Shanghai International Trade Promotion Exhibition Co Ltd.
The main venue is still located in the Shanghai Exhibition Center this year. The exhibition area has been expanded to 26,000 square meters for the first time, an increase of 10.8% over the previous year. It will help disperse the flow of people and improve the safety and comfort for the audience.
This year, about 150 branch venues will be set up across Shanghai, Yangtze River Delta cities and other key cities in China, and efforts will be made to improve the ability and quality of branch venues in Shanghai to exhibit books and hold events. This year, the book fair’s online platform will be built with unprecedented strength, so that a “future-oriented book fair model” that integrates online and offline channels, while benefiting both the industry and general readers.
The overall preparation and main features of this book fair mainly include five aspects.
I. To promote positive spirits in the new era and stick to the advanced cultural position
2020 is the decisive year of winning the battle against poverty in an all-round way and building a moderately prosperous society in an all-round way. It’s also the final in the 13th Five-Year Plan, and marks the 30th anniversary of the development and opening-up of Shanghai’s Pudong. Since the beginning of the year, the COVID-19 epidemic has occurred worldwide, and China’s “war against the epidemic” has highlighted the concept of “people first”, the superiority of the socialist system with Chinese characteristics, and China’s strength. The national publishing industry players have published many high-quality books around these themes, comprehensively recording, interpreting, and summarizing China’s great achievements and practical experience in the new era. As an important platform to promote mainstream values and advanced culture, the book fair creates a positive and inspiring reading atmosphere. This year’s book fair will focus on gathering these masterpieces and organizing reading activities.
At the entrance of the book fair’s main venue, the Preface Pavilion, with the theme of “Scent of Books Enriching the People’s City”, focuses on displaying important books for studying and promoting Xi Jinping thought on socialism with Chinese characteristics for a new era, especially the third volume of the newly published “Xi Jinping: The Governance of China”, as well as the multiple language versions of Volumes I and II of “Xi Jinping: The Governance of China” and the separate edition of the latest important speeches by General Secretary Xi Jinping.
A themed book exhibition area is set up at the entrance of the East Hall One, exhibiting General Secretary Xi Jinping’s series of books and publications and books for the study of “Four Histories”. Meanwhile, other themed books on display include those depicting the battle against poverty in an all-round way and build a moderately prosperous society, books on the themes of “people’s cities created by the people and for the people” and China’s experience in fighting the epidemic, including a batch of key publications published in 2020.
A special exhibition on the achievements of Shanghai’s publications in overseas promotion will be held in the gallery of the Preface Pavilion, to showcase the achievements of Shanghai’s publishing industry in recent years in implementing the ‘Going Out’ strategy and creating high-quality publishing projects. A special book exhibition on the control and prevention of the epidemic is set up to display a batch of new masterpieces that record the history and deeds of China’s “war against the epidemic” and summarize China’s experience.
China Publishing Group, Shanghai Century Publishing Group, China International Publishing Group, and Zhejiang Publishers Group, the guest of honor this year, will all set up themed publishing areas in prominent positions in their respective exhibition areas. For example, China Publishing Group will set up the Poverty Alleviation Themed Area. China International Publishing Group will set up the Themed Area for China’s Publicity to the Outside World. Century Publishing Group will set up the themed boutique book exhibition area.
Key reading activities include:
The reading forum, co-sponsored by the Shanghai Book Fair Steering Committee, the People’s Government of Jing’an District and Jiefang Daily, will focus on the theme of “China Perseverance in the Epidemic” by inviting Wen Yumei, Zhang Wenhong, Wu Fan, Cha Qiongfang, Liu Kai and other guests to discuss with readers aboud China’s persistence, Shanghai experience, and cultural spirits under the epidemic.
New books that will debut on the book fair include “Revolutionary”, “China’s war against epidemic!”, “records of Shanghai’s fight against the new coronavirus pneumonia”, “The History of the Communist Party of China”, “The Place of Original Mission-The Record of Shanghai’s Red Revolution Memorial Sites”, “The Legend of China: The History of Pudong Development”, “40 Years of China’s Reform and Opening Up”, “40 people in 40 years: China-US Diplomatic Dialogue”, “Date in Spring: Notes from Two Sessions by Zhu Yongxin, Member of the Standing Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference”, “Science and technology fosters China’s development”, “Global Financial Changes”, “Grand vision in a new era”, “Now and the future”, “Records of the war against the epidemic”, “Infrared photon exploration: Selected works of Mr. Chu Junhao’s academic thoughts”, “Tea man trilogy”, “The epidemic of 1918: The world changed by influenza”, “The 600 years of the Forbidden City”, “The Guardian of Life”, “The Song of Everlasting Regret”, “Modern architecture in Shanghai”, “Origin of Shanghai style: origin of Xujiahui”, “Between reading and book collection”, “Great wisdom of China”, “Yanyuntai”, Han Song’s “Orbital Trilogy”, “New Era Pilots Series Comic Book”, “Stories of old artists” and hundreds of themed books. Seminars, reader meetings, and book signing activities will also be held.
The 7-days, 7-lectures series activities for “Four Histories” will be organized by Shanghai Xinhua Media, with the theme of “Looking back in order to move forward better”, with selected seven new and high-quality books around “Four Histories”, such as “Great beginning” and “Red alley”. Guests and readers will be invited to review the history, anticipate the future from a high perspective, and move forward.
The “Meet on Tuesday” classic recitation on the closing night of this year’s Shanghai Book Fair will focus on the theme of “power”. It will pay tribute to famous classics, showcase the current life, and interpret the hope for the future.
Among the special exhibition halls, the Chinese Studies Hall will hold themed exhibition to mark the 120th anniversary of Duo Yun Xuan and the 60th anniversary of Shanghai Painting and Calligraphy Publishing House. The Social Science Boutique Hall will focus on the exhibition and sale of more than 10,000 kinds of social science books published in the past three years, and will display and sell selected varieties of publishing brands such as “Unread” and “Jiaguwen” for the first time. The “Salute to the Masters” special exhibition will showcase the works of Bai Hua, Liushahe, Ye Yonglie, Wang Jiafan and other writers and scholars who passed away in 2019-2020.
Brand events such as the annual conference on the innovation and development of China’s physical bookstores and private bookstores in the Yangtze River Delta, themed publishing forums, and a series of lectures on new works by famous artists will continue to be held. The 18th issue of “Jiefang Book List” will be released in time with the book fair.
II. Adapt to new needs and improve cultural services
During the special period of normalization of epidemic prevention and control, Shanghai Book Fair strives to provide rich and diverse forms and contents, as well as a safe and comfortable on-site environment, to ensure that epidemic prevention and control and cultural services are both implemented effectively, so as to empower citizens to rebuild their reading habits. In this year’s book fair, organizers have formulated strict prevention and control measures in accordance with the requirements of the joint epidemic prevention and control mechanism. For example, organizers will improve the on-site epidemic prevention work system and emergency plan, and set up a health team to coordinate epidemic prevention and control and emergency response. The main venue will reasonably control the number of readers, regulate the flow of visitors onsite, and reduce the density of personnel. Visitors will be allowed to enter and leave the venue in several designated periods of time every day, in a bid to leave necessary time in between for site cleaning and disinfection. All tickets will be subject to the real-name reservation system, and the visitors’ information can be dynamically monitored. The on-site exhibition areas will be limited, while the space for readers’ activities will be enlarged to improve experience. Readers must show their ID cards and green health code, check their body temperature, and wear masks to enter the venue.
The book fair will be promoted in a timely manner through multiple channels such as newspapers, radios and television stations and other major media in the city, Shanghai Fabu, major new media platforms, and the “Shanghai Book Fair: The Power of Reading” online platform, official website, official WeChat account and other channels. Relevant announcements will made to remind readers of relevant precautions.
At the same time, organizers will proactively use new technologies to improve reader services, such as combining online and offline ticket sales to optimize the ticketing and access control system. The “Shanghai Book Fair: The Power of Reading” online platform will be launched to provide online reading functions and services to meet readers’ need to visit the Shanghai Book Fair online. Organizers will also optimize the online and offline arrangement of reading activities through online sharing and communication platforms.
In addition, this year’s book fair will still maintain a 7-day night show (open at 9 am every day and close at 9 pm). It will continue to set up a general information desk and reader rest area, while providing convenient services such as shopping guide, express delivery, catering, and medical emergency. It will continue to cooperate with Jing An Kerry Center to allow readers to enjoy two hours of free parking at Kerry Center during the book fair with the book fair ticket. Many catering companies at Kerry Center will provide readers with book fair packages.
III. Promote new reading and activate online and offline linkage
In light of the new convenience and experience brought by the internet and digital technologies, as well as the diversified medium and approaches of reading, the Shanghai Book Fair broadens its horizon and continuously enriches the means of reading promotion. In the context of normalization of epidemic prevention and control, this book fair will take advantage of the internet and new media with the aid of a variety of online platforms to provide multiple reading services. These serve to synchronize more quality book offerings and reading activities both online and offline in a bid to facilitate citizens' choice of books and literatures.
Drawing on the experience of "Shanghai Book Fair-the Power of Reading" 2020 Special Online Gathering at the height of the pandemic, as well as the series of events held during the "April 23 World Book Day", a fresh, dedicated online platform will make debut prior to the official opening of the book fair. The site encompasses a number of functionalities, including online browsing of the book fair, online new book launches, tips for visiting the exhibition, event calendar and livestreaming for book promotion, which perfectly mimics the setup of the physical book fair. A cohort of new media and online platforms, including The Paper, Kankan News, Eastday.com, Xuexiqiangguo, Xinhua Online Book Mall, Shijitianmao, Zhoudao Shanghai, Pudong Media Convergence Center, Tencent Video, Bilibili, Ximalaya, Douyin, Pinduoduo, Xiaohongshu, Yitiao, Spiritual Wealth Club, Qutoutiao and Yueyue Livestreaming, will jointly form a 'friend circle' for the Shanghai Book Fair. They stand to deeply integrate online and offline reading resources, conduct online broadcast of offline events, and at the same time plan and host enriching and dynamic online reading activities.
All new media platforms and online communities have taken the initiative to transform into 'influencers of promoting reading', by crafting reading-related contents and projects specifically for the fair. For example, the Media Convergence Center of Shanghai Media Group has launched a program called "Cloud-based Reading Shepherd", soliciting ordinary book lovers to record their recitation of literature works and share these videos online. China Literature will continue with its 'Online Literature Meeting Room' initiative, kicking off a new round of plan to publish printed books and hosting new book signing sessions for popular literary works. Xiaohongshu is scheduled to tailor a project for the book fair, guiding users to follow the close loop of 'online endorsement->offline visits->online recommendation". In collaboration with Dayin Bookstore, Qutoutiao will launch a special event that connects both extensive reading online and intensive reading offline.
Offline reading events are set to be multi-dimensional and diverse. Last year's fair had drawn on the inspiration from the previous year's “Seven Classes on the Studies of Chinese Ancient Civilization" and had consequently come up with a seven-day themed event, which was widely appraised by readers. For the current edition, the fair will strengthen to cultivate the "Seven Series' reading brand and system, aiming to make it an effective vehicle to advocate intensive reading and meeting readers' needs and pursuit for quality reading, by selecting premium literature and speaker resources and focusing on different topics. The ten "Seven Series" reading activities that are heavily promoted by the fair include topics on seven-day researches on the 'Four Histories' of China, "Seven Day Seven Courses on Chinese Traditional Civilization", Shanghai Summer Series Lectures, Shanghai Science Expert Symposium, Shanghai International Literature Ten Year Anniversary special event, "Writers’ Dining Table" initiative, and "Seven-day Parent-Children Fun". In an innovative fashion, these events will either be held simultaneously online and offline, or will be spread by multiple online platforms, or merge other related new business models like catering, tourism and culture, in order to show the vitality of new forms of reading.
For example, during the course of the Shanghai International Literature Ten Year Anniversary special event, organizers will invite authors and scholars like Zheng Tiwu, Yuan Xiaoyi, Mao Jian, and Yan feng to conduct seven special dialogues and take video records to be broadcast across multiple platforms during the book fair.
Another case in point: The "Writers’ Dining Table" initiative will select seven canteens with historical and cultural heritage and each invite one writer to talk freely on their aesthetics of beauty for life and recommend characteristic book lists. Each restaurant will reserve a special "author dining table' in their permanent settings afterwards.
Writers and scholars, including Zhang Weiwei, He Jianming, Chu Junhao, Zhang Ping, Li Jingze, Zhu Yong, Li Bo, Wang Xufeng, Zhu Yongxin, Xin Deyong, Wei Li, Jiang Shengnan, Zhang Wenhong, Yang Hongying, Shen Shixi, Ma Boyong, Zhang Jiajia, and Da Bing, as well as popular literature curators, such as Luo Xiang, who is dubbed as 'the most popular law lecturer' on Bilibili, an influential online literature writer on Qidian under the avatar 'inkfish who loves diving' , will all bring their new books or sought-after works to the main forum as well as the online and offline sub-forums of the book fair.
The fair will in due time publish "100 Must-Read Books" in order to guide the entire population the unique perspectives and positions of the Shanghai Book Fair.
IV. Embrace the new economy and propel the publishing industry to enter new territories
During this special period, Shanghai Book Fair strives to find opportunities embedded in crisis, find new momentum in turbulent situations, and accelerate the transformation of forms. In the first half of 2020, the reading and cultural industry, with the "Shanghai Book Fair" brand as the core, has been actively embracing the online new economy, breaking the boundaries of traditional cultural circles and exploring online reading, online book recommendations and attracting new readers from other interest circles by combining the power of online cultural platforms, online communities and e-commerce platforms. Results have far exceeded expectations, which lead to the traditional publishing industry to break its stereotype and enter new territories. This edition of the book fair will greatly promote the merge of publishing and new economy-related industries, tearing down barriers, combining upper/down, internal/external resources, to construct a so-called 'Great Publishing Industry" pattern.
First, the fair strives to create a 'virtual debut' model and enhance the influence of such a mechanism, where a total of 150 'online debuts' will make appearance featuring key new books from publishing houses in Shanghai and nationwide; Second, the fair will establish a future reading exhibition area, where new technologies and new models like digital reading channel and platforms, content and products, technological forms and IP operations are being displayed in a concentrated manner; Third, the fair will innovatively introduce the "Block" concept, plan a real-life 'Physical Bookstore Brand Pavilion' and create an immersive 'Themed Bookstore Block' that congregates characteristic and branded bookstores. This serves to showcase the fusion and diversity of the "Bookstore+" business model; Fourth, the fair will connect 10 business districts and 20 residential communities in order to extend the fair's influence into these two areas and help printed publications and their related products revitalize; Fifth, the fair will focus on the new economy, hosting the annual meeting on the innovative development of China's physical bookstores as well as a seminar on privately-owned bookstores in the Yangtze River Delta Region. With "Revival of Physical Bookstores in the Post-Pandemic Period' as the theme, the fair will look into transformations brought to physical bookstores by the internet, big data, cloud computing and artificial intelligence in the New Economy era.
V. Construct a new pattern and promote the establishment of a book-loving society
"Promoting reading among the entire population and constructing a book-loving society" has been the most important mission and the positioning of the Shanghai Book Fair. This year, the fair in August will join hands with all parties to bring high-quality books and reading events to citizens under the model of "One Theme, Fixed Venue and the Combination of Exhibition and Sales", and form a new omnichannel pattern that benefit book lovers in the city.
The fair will continue to work with the city's 16 districts and help promote each district build its own brand in popularizing reading. This year, Huangpu district will continue to optimize the brand construction of "Book Scents in Sinan, a Pivot to Humanities"; Jingan district will continue to host the Reading Week Series events such as "Jiangan Ideal Study" or "Pleasant Reading Jingan"; Changning district will roll out some 20 reading events focusing on "Shanghai cultural icons" and "Shanghai Lane Culture"; Minhang district will organize close to 50 reading events by leveraging its culture centers across residential communities; Jinshan district will kick off a reading service project themed 'Book Scent in Jinshan", which brings book-reading events and mobile book exhibitions to local residential communities; Qingpu district is to host around 30 reading events with "Simplicity Reading" and "Mint Agri-Bookstore" as the district's core reading brand.