Bloomsbury forms JV to tap domestic Chinese market

LONDON: Bloomsbury Publishing Plc announced its entry to the domestic Chinese market through a joint venture with China Youth Publishing Group (CYPG), a state-owned publisher, and Roaring Lion Media (RLM), a limited company subsidiary of CYPG.

Expanding Bloomsbury’s China profile and presence within the country is a key objective of the Bigger Bloomsbury strategy, and this partnership enables the business to further accelerate that goal.

The joint venture will be based in Beijing and will publish its own titles originating from China, as well as licensing titles from Bloomsbury and other global publishers, in the Chinese language for the mainland market.

Bloomsbury has 50% ownership in the joint venture, with CYPG 30%, and RLM the remaining 20%. The investment is de minimis. Vafa Payman, Managing Director, Bloomsbury China, will run the business on behalf of Bloomsbury.

This new joint venture is a unique opportunity for Bloomsbury as it becomes one of a very small number of Western publishers with joint ventures in the Chinese mainland domestic market. China is an important and growing market for books and in particular is a key market for trade and academic publishing. It is expected to continue to grow, with China projected to surpass the USA as the world’s largest economy by 2030.

Bloomsbury already has a presence in the region, with sales of English language titles in China and revenue from licensing of IP rights for Chinese translations growing significantly over the past five years. The joint venture presents the next step in establishing a domestic publishing footprint.

Nigel Newton, Founder and Chief Executive of Bloomsbury, said: “Today’s announcement marks an important moment in Bloomsbury’s international expansion. This joint venture provides a unique opportunity to work with two companies which are highly complementary to our business. As one of the original four publishing companies founded following the creation of the People’s Republic of China, CYPG’s reputation, history and reach within the country makes it an excellent partner for our business. In addition, RLM’s market and operations expertise will help the joint venture grow quickly.”

Pi Jun, President of CYPG and RLM, said: “China Youth Press and Bloomsbury Publishing Plc both have complementary advantages in many aspects, with excellent publishing resources, channel resources and brand influence. The strong alliance between the two companies will provide domestic and foreign readers with better reading experience, develop more business opportunities, and create a successful example of Sino-British publishing exchange and cooperation.”

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