Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Print Rises Higher in the Far East: With Four Times More People Than the U.S., It's No Wonder Print Is Booming in China

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Print Rises Higher in the Far East: With Four Times More People Than the U.S., It's No Wonder Print Is Booming in China

Article excerpt

With some 1.34 billion people, China's population surpasses the United States (nearly 313 million) by more than four to one. From a literacy and business perspective, the printing industry in China is growing at a higher rate than more mature economies such as North America, Japan, or Western Europe, according to InfoTrends. Though growth estimates vary, reliable figures show that China averaged a 19 percent increase in printing revenue each year between 1999 and 2004.

According to other industry sources, the number of newspapers in mainland China has increased from only 42--virtually all are government owned--in 1968, to 382 in 1980, to more than 2,200 today. In 2006, China was the largest market for newspapers, with 96.6 million copies sold daily, compared to 2006 figures for India (78.7 million), Japan (69.7 million), the U.S. (53.3 million), and Germany (21.5 million). China newspaper advertisement revenues increased 128 percent between 2001 and 2006.

Such growth in the Chinese market is presenting significant opportunities for suppliers such as ECRM Imaging Systems, Goss Intl., manroland Web Systems, and their marketing partners in Asia. For example, Beijing Daily is installing a new heatset web press to support a plan to expand beyond its current newspaper production capabilities and seize new commercial printing opportunities.

The four-unit Cross M-800 press, featuring a four-pages-around by four-pages-across (4x4) cylinder configuration, will go into production later this fall at a facility in Beijing, where more than 300 employees print more than 2 million newspapers daily.

"We now print coldset newspapers only at our facility, but demand for commercial products and heatset retail inserts is increasing in our region," said Jia Fudong, vice director for the Beijing Daily printing operation. He projects that commercial print volume will continue to increase over the next five years and said the new press, the first M-800 model to be installed in China, will be called on to produce a wide range of products and formats. Print-quality expectations for those products are increasing along with page counts in the Beijing area, while run lengths are stable, Jia said. A PCC-2 pinless folder will allow the new press to produce heatset products at up to 80,000 copies per hour in straight production or 40,000 copies per hour in collect mode. Goss is helping to equip the new system with its Contiweb FD paster, Ecocool dryer, and Omnicon press control and digital workflow technology.

Tim Mercy, Goss vice president of sales, said the ability to print magazine, tabloid, and other formats in straight or collect mode makes the M-800 model a good fit for the varied requirements of Beijing Daily. "This is also an excellent option for commercial printers looking to diversify with a four-around press that complements existing two-around presses such as Goss M-600 and M-500 models," he said.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Beijing Daily is part of the Beijing Daily Group, a media company that manages nine newspapers and three magazines as well as websites, a publishing house and a television broadcasting station. The group publishes the leading circulation newspapers in the area, including Beijing Daily, Beijing Evening News, Beijing Morning Post, and Beijing Suburbs Daily.

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