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UPDATED: March 7, 2007 web exclusive
CBI Website to Promote Chinese Books Globally
On the brand-new website of CBI, viewers can easily access information about Chinese books, publishing news, as well as procedures for receiving translation financial aid

On March 6, 2007, China Book International (CBI) (http://www.chinabookinternational.cn) launched a new website that aims to introduce Chinese books and promotes international copyright trade.

CBI, a joint project established by the Information Office of the State Council (SCIO) and the General Administration of Press and Publication (GAPP) in 2004, aims to make China known to the outside world through promoting books translated from Chinese.

"We got the idea (CBI) at the 24th Book Salon of France in 2004 when 70 kinds of Chinese books in French editions, translated by local publishers received a warm reception," said Mr. Zhang Fuhai, Head of CBI working group and Head of International Exchange and Cooperation Department of GAPP.

It was a good indication that people from different cultural backgrounds had the desire to know China better through books in their own language that had been well translated.

"In 2005, CBI signed agreements for 170 kinds of books with publishers in Britain, France, Japan, the United States, Australia and Singapore for a total of RMB 3 million (US$375, 000)" Mr. Zhang continued.

Currently, 28 well-known publishing organizations have joined the CBI project, including China International Publishing Group, Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press, Qinghua University Press, etc. Over 50 international publishers have applied for the project, according to Mr. Zhang.

On the brand-new website of CBI, viewers can easily access information about Chinese books, publishing news, as well as procedures for receiving translation financial aid. A database of authors and translators is also provided.

A domestic bestseller list, compiled from popular internet bookstores, is also available.

For Internet technical support, Google China, one of the best known among its CBI partners, provides excellent search function.

"The reason for the cooperation between CBI and Google China is obvious. In the age of the Internet, information can be transmitted faster and easier than before. However, some 95 percent of information in the world cannot be searched for many reasons," said Dr. Kai-fu Lee, Vice President of Google and President of Google China.

"That missing information, such as the only existing copy of a book, can be seen as 'scattered pearls'. It is a loss to humans. Google, with its excellent search engine technology, can string these 'scattered pearls of Chinese civilization' and, in the process, introduce Chinese culture to the world through cooperation with CBI, " he said, adding that the future of the cooperation will be bright.

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