Third-party sources of translation funds, short of a small number of grants and awards, are few and far between. The China Book International program, ultimately administered by China's General Administration of Press and Publication (GAPP, 新闻总署), is something that every publisher should consider. Awards vary depending on the length and type of the publishing project, but generally start somewhere in the neighborhood of 120 RMB per thousand Chinese characters (an average novel might be 200,000 characters in length). The application must be made by the Chinese publishing house from which the foreign publishing house is purchasing the foreign-language rights, and will only be processed after the foreign publisher has committed to the publishing project.
Most of the major publishing houses in China have lists of titles that are eligible for China Book International support. This is not as restrictive as it sounds – the book lists are long and varied, and there is a very good chance that any given book will be eligible. There is quite a bit of room for negotiation when it comes to selecting books and discussing the exact conditions of the award. We're available to help contact the China Book International office and start the discussion process.