Cashing-in on Chinese people's yearning for information technology, medicine, yoga and also Bollywood, leading Indian book publishers have made the initial breakthrough in the Chinese book market, long dominated by the West.
"Major Indian book publishing companies have succeeded in gaining a foothold in the huge Chinese market," Director of the National Book Trust (NBT) Nuzhat Hassan said.
Hassan, who led a delegation of Indian book publishers to the just-concluded Beijing International Book Fair for the second time in two years, said they received good response from Chinese book publishers as well as the public.
She said the Chinese publishers showed keen interest in books on information technology (IT), science and technology, management, medicine, yoga, jewellery as well as Bollywood.
The response to NBT's participation in international fairs, including in Beijing has been very encouraging and NBT has been successful in generating interest in Indian publications among those living across the border, she said.
At the Beijing International Book Fair, the NBT displayed a cross-section of representative Indian publications, she said.
The Indian Embassy here also organised a meeting for the visiting Indian book publishers with their Chinese counterparts. Officials hoped that cooperation between book publishers on both sides would be a new channel to promote bilateral relations and people-to-people understanding.
Jaypee Brothers, well-known for their medical books, have received very good response from Chinese publishers with plans to cooperate on up to 20 books this year compared to last year's 15 books.
"In view of our strength in the medical book publishing industry, the Chinese are showing great interest in cooperating with us," a senior official of Jaypee Brothers, said.
Madhav Thakur from Taxmann Publications Pvt Ltd., another Delhi-based publisher said that he found good response from the Chinese for management and professional books.
While acknowledging that the Chinese publishing market was a hard nut to crack for Indian publishers, Thakur said that it required constant "hammering" and efforts to make it successful in China.
Director of Pustak Mahal, Dr. Ashok Gupta, who participated for the first time at the Beijing International Book Fair said it was a good experience for him as the exhibition had attracted a number of potential Chinese publishers as well as public.
Regional Head, Business Development (Europe), Cyber Media (India) Ltd., Amit Gogia said his company wanted to expand operations in Asia and the huge Chinese market was attractive, especially with many Chinese keen to learn from India's successful IT development model.
Deputy head of the government's press and publications administration, Yu Yongzhan said China's 573 publishing houses produced 6.4 billion books, including 128,578 new titles, in 2005.
With the addition of newspapers and magazines, he estimated the value of the publishing market in 2003 at ¥193.7 billion ($24.2 billion).