When you have trouble moving product overseas -- and cash in your pocket -- you can always call on a classic strategy: take control of the distribution channels.
There are four traditional ways to do so: set up your own local firm; invest in a local firm; merge your firm with a local firm; or simply acquire an existing player in that market which owns a respected brand name.
Is China getting ready to do so in the publishing field, as part of its soft power push?
Wang Yafei of Hefei-based, publicly listed Time Publishing and Media Co. Ltd (时代出版传媒股份公司, 董事长) mentioned the possibility at "中国出版走出去论坛", a recent forum on China's publishing globalization campaign:
Of course, China already owns publishing entities overseas, e.g., CYPI, which has offices in London and is owned by the influential state-run China Youth Press (中国青年出版社).
But what if, as part of this strategy, China's state-run publishers were encouraged to make some outright purchases of existing publishing houses, particularly in the EU and North America?