An article in today's New York Times describes the recent (relative) easing of censorship as it regards book publishing in China:

While film, radio and television remain squarely under the thumb of the Chinese government, the book industry has steadily become more open.

With tastes growing more sophisticated and worldly, foreign book publishers have leapt at the opportunity to attract new readers among China’s growing middle class.

Many publishers hope they are witnessing the beginning of a golden age for the Chinese book market:

Western publishers are flocking to China, with many opening offices in Beijing and Shanghai and mobbing Chinese publishers at international book fairs. HarperCollins says its number of deals and revenue from those sales have more than doubled over the last three years, mostly in the business and self-help categories: Donald Trump’s “Think Big in Business and Life” and Jack Welch’s “Winning” being two of the most successful titles.

All this gives both foreign and domestic Chinese publishers confidence that the industry will become increasingly free and lucrative. That books like “The Persian Boy,” “The Da Vinci Code” and “The Kite Runner” caused some jitters over their controversial themes yet were published and then became popular reveals a nation willing to push boundaries and a government growing more at ease with foreign ideas, says Ms. Wang, the Horizon Media editor. “The industry is driven by a desire to pursue profit,” she said. “Because society at large is liberalizing, readers demand different books, so we take the risk and hope it pays off.”

Read the full article here.