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Bloomsbury confirms tie-up with Chinese state-owned publisher

By Josh White

Date: Monday 02 Dec 2019

LONDON (ShareCast) - (Sharecast News) - Bloomsbury Publishing announced its entry into the domestic Chinese market on Monday, through a joint venture with state-owned publisher China Youth Publishing Group (CYPG) and its limited company subsidiary Roaring Lion Media (RLM).
The London-listed company said expanding its China profile and presence within the country was a "key objective" of the 'Bigger Bloomsbury' strategy, with the partnership set to enable the business to further accelerate that goal.

It said the joint venture would be based in Beijing, and would 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, the board said, with Bloomsbury China managing director Vafa Payman appointed to run the business on behalf of Bloomsbury.

Its board said the new joint venture was a "unique opportunity" for Bloomsbury, allowing it to become "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, the directors claimed, and in particular it was a key market for trade and academic publishing.

It was expected to continue to grow, with the country projected to surpass the United States as the world's largest economy by 2030.

Bloomsbury noted that it already had a presence in the region, with sales of English language titles in China and revenue from licensing of intellectual property rights for Chinese translations said to have grown significantly in the last five years.

The joint venture was the next step in establishing a domestic publishing footprint, the board said.

"Today's announcement marks an important moment in Bloomsbury's international expansion," said Bloomsbury Publishing founder and chief executive officer Nigel Newton.

"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, added that the two partners both had "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."

At 1014 GMT, shares in Bloomsbury Publishing were up 1.85% at 275p.

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