China’s Book Retail Market: Down 9.29 Percent in First Half of 2020

From Publishing Perspectives:

n a new report on the Chinese book market amid the ongoing coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, Beijing OpenBook sees a 9.29-percent decline in performance year-over-year.

Digital retail is seen as increasing by 6.74 percent, while physical bookstores are down 47.36 percent as compared to the first half of 2019.

. . . .

The main point of comparison our associates in Beijing are making today (July 17) is to their first-quarter report, which showed a January-to-March decline of nearly 16 percent over the same Q1 period of 2019.

What’s interesting to note is the relative continuation of pandemic trends in digital vs. physical bookselling. In Q1, when the pathogen’s first major outbreaks were wracking parts of the mainland, online retail in China gained by 3.02 percent and physical sales points for books had dived 54.8 percent.

Compare those figures to today’s report of a six-month gain for digital retail of 6.74 percent and of physical sales regaining some traction to the point of being down 47.36 percent over the same six-month period of 2019, and it’s tempting to think we’re seeing new momentum gathering in online retail and a comparatively slow recovery for bricks and mortar. This, however, may be deceptive.

Link to the rest at Publishing Perspectives