Bertelsmann Expands Book Sales in China | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 03.12.2003
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Bertelsmann Expands Book Sales in China

In a move to expand its business dealings in China, German media firm Bertelsmann AG has bought 40 percent of the Beijing-based book store chain " 21st Century" for an undisclosed sum. The first shops under the name 21st Century but bearing the Bertelsmann logo are to open in Beijing by the end of December. Previously, Bertelsmann’s Chinese license to deal in books, CDs, DVDs and computer games was limited to Shanghai, where the company jointly operates a book club boasting 1.5 million members. Under the joint venture, books and related products can be sold nation-wide, because of partner company 21st Century’s national license. “We already had many customers outside Shanghai, and we found ourselves moving in a grey zone,” said the head of Directgroup Bertelsmann China, Christian Unger. “With the expansion of our business, our main focus for the next while will be Beijing.” Bertelsmann also plans to double the number of book club stores in Shanghai from six to 12, and aims to increase the number of members to four million.