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Palestine is among eight new countries represented at the 28th Beijing International Book Fair (BIBF) which runs from 14 to 18 September.  It joins Algeria, Laos, Angola, Jamaica, Nigeria, Denmark, and Finland participating in one of the first hybrid international book fairs since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

BIBF expects over 1,600 exhibitors to participate in person. There will be attendees and exhibitors representing over 105 countries and regions. Chinese exhibitors come from 34 provinces (regions, cities) across the country. Overseas exhibitors account for half of the total number of physical exhibitors including representation from 13 of the top 50 international publishing companies. Over 600 international publishers are anticipated to participate online.

The fair is taking place at Beijing’s China International Exhibition Centre, with satellite events taking place at 20 bookstores across the city and live-streamed online. There will also be a special immersive exhibition featuring Chinese Sci-fi author Liu Cixin’s Comic Universe at Beijing Shijingshan Amusement Park.

Ahead of the fair, the BIBF hosted the Beijing International Publishing Forum on 12 September.  This international publishing conference, which was hosted in-person and broadcasted live online, focused on publishing to build a better future and new technology. Wu Shulin, Vice Chairman of the Publishers Association of China, and Liu Bogen, Vice President of China Publishing Group, gave keynote speeches. ByteDance, the owner of TikTok, said social and e-commerce platforms in China have become a crucial sales and marketing stream for publishers. The number of videos with reading tags on the Douyin platform has increased by 138% in the first half of 2021.

 Ms. Liying Lin, Director of BIBF, said: “The International Publishing Forum was a great success and it is good to see publishers discussing new partnerships, new technology, and also how to develop publishing culture to help the future direction of the industry. We hope this spirit of cooperation and discovery continues over the 5-day BIBF.  There are so many events scheduled and launches announced. It will be wonderful to see the Chinese publishing industry meeting with each other and the world under one roof again.”

In his keynote speech at the conference, Liu Bogen, Vice President of China Publishing Group, said: “Publishing during the pandemic has played an instrumental role in advancing knowledge and building a better future. International strategic collaboration and innovation on publishing technology is needed more than ever. In the first half of 2021 CPG has sold the rights to over 510 books. These have been sold to 46 countries and translated into 41 languages. As one of the largest trade publishers in China, we are looking forward to celebrating many of our strategic relationships with the world’s leading publishers with 34 events at BIBF this week.”

Pakistan is a guest of honour at the fair, celebrating 70 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries.  Guest of honour events are being presented in a combination of online and offline activity. Pakistan’s showcase on the show floor includes books, themed pictures and paintings.