Winnie-the-Pooh, Peppa Pig, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and even James and his Giant Peach are feeling the heat in China amid reports of a Communist party crackdown on children’s literature.
With about 220 million under-14s and a rapidly growing middle class, China is home to a potentially massive market for children’s picture books. More than 40,000 children’s books were reportedly published here last year alone.
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But with an aggressive Communist party campaign against supposedly hostile western ideas currently underway, foreign storybooks appear to have found themselves in Beijing’s cross hairs.
According to Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post, Chinese publishers have received orders that the number of foreign picture books being printed in China must be slashed.
Storybooks from South Korea and Japan now stood almost no chance of published in China, one publishing source told the newspaper, while the supply of books from other countries would be “very limited”.