China’s publishing giant seeking partners in Africa

By Eric Biegon in Beijing China.

Chinese publishing company is looking to expand its operations in Africa beginning this year.

Phoenix Publishing Media Group has announced that it is looking for companies in the continent to partner in the publishing industry.

The company which is famous for publishing and distribution of books and periodicals in fact discloses that it has for a long time been contemplating entering the African market.

The management however says this endeavor has been hampered by entry work permits to certain destinations in the continent.

“We are restructuring our business by incorporating different players. We are interested in the cooperation model where we have local partners in various destinations in Africa.” The company’s Executive Director & President Jiankang Zhang noted.

The firm recently established a printing plant in Namibia, where it installed one of the largest and state-of-the-art digital printing machines in Africa. But the management says this is not enough as Africa’s market demands are huge, a situation that now compels it to expand operations in the continent.

“Our presence is evident in Namibia. But we don’t want a printing plant alone. We want to have joint ventures with local African partners since we are very keen to provide our advanced printing services to Africa.” Mr. She Jiangtao who is the company’s vice general manager added

The opportunity to partner according to the company is open for all. The management says it does not have a laid down criteria of picking companies to enlist in its cooperation agenda as long as they are engaged in publishing. The two topmost company executives confirmed that all public and private institutions are free to pursue ties with the company.

“I want you to know that Phoenix is willing to partner with any of the local publisher both from government and private sector where we can work together to achieve our objectives” said Mr. She

Soon after it establishes contacts in host countries, the company says it will move to the next stage where it will set up local subsidiaries.

“At the moment we just want to have local partners in African countries. From there we can begin the process of setting up printing firms.” Mr. Jiankang affirmed.

Addressing journalists from Africa who toured its digital printing plant in Nanjing, the headquarters of its operations, the company’s management disclosed that phoenix expansion and partnership also dictates that they have to first promote cultural exchange between China and Africa.

“We hope we can introduce more African products to Chinese markets and Vice Versa. Our cultural exchange is crucial to this endeavor. Through our exchanges we will realize mutual benefit.” Jiankang charged.

But it appears this will not be the first time the company is interacting with companies from Africa. The two executives disclosed that a number of publishers from Kenya, Ethiopia and Namibia have been seeking their services.  

 “Last year (2016), we received a delegation from Kenya. They were seeking outsourcing of printing of text books. We delivered on that mandate. We intend to do that to any other company that approaches us.” Mr. Jiankang noted.

In addition to publishing and distribution, the company engages in book printing, business supplies, hotel management, financial investment and real estate business.

So far Phoenix publishing and printing group has established presence in the United Kingdom, United States & Australia and its entry into the African Market will be a major boost to the struggling publishing industry.