Annually totally book priced US$350 million on 2,000 new titles published on average, this flagship and champion in academic and reference book publishing in China was established in 1897 in Shanghai, remains consistently committed to promoting education and enlightening people with solid innovation and pioneering in such causes as the nation’s education and culture ever since.
Achieved scores of “firsts” in the history of modern publishing and education, The Commercial Press introduced modern scholarship, compiled and published numerous new textbook series for primary, middle and high schools with new types of schools set up across China since 1904.
It laid modern academia benchmark for cultural education in China with its avangarde publishment of dictionaries and related reference books, including the landmark titles such as The Commercial Press English and Chinese Standard Dictionary (《商务书馆华英字典》), the first English-Chinese dictionary in China, in 1899, New Dictionary (《新字典》), the first modern Chinese dictionary in China, in 1912, Ci Yuan: A Dictionary of Chinese Etymology (《辞源》)published in 1915, the first large encyclopedic lexicon of modern Chinese, and other dictionaries in specialized fields.
Editing the classics and disseminating new learning further embodied its unique contribution to China’s educational and cultural development, with notable classics reprinting achievements of Twenty Four Histories （ 百衲本二十四史 ） , A Series of Books in Four Categories of Literature （ 四部丛刊 ） (consisting of more than 300 titles, over 2,000 volumes), A Series of Ancient Books （ 古今图书集成 ） (with classic collections from the Song, Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties in some 4,000 titles), The Rare Edition of A Complete Collection in Four Branches of Literature （ 四库全书珍本 ） , the Wanyou Library （ 万有文库 ） , a general series of over 4,000 volumes, and other original scholarly works.
It also took the lead in introducing modern Western scientific thought and scholarly world-famous works, such as Evolution and Ethics, and world literary classics, such as La Dame aux Camélias, and so on, which stimulated, power-housed and pushed forward Chinese academia’s embracement of and transition to modernity.
The Commercial Press initiated the earliest modern magazines in China, such as The Eastern Miscellany （ 东方杂志 ） , Fiction Monthly （ 小说月报 ） and Educational Journal （ 教育杂志 ） . It also started modern Chinese filmmaking, by making various films with the aim of promoting popular education. Oriental Library, a public library founded by The Commercial Press, was honored as “an East Asian prestigious cultural treasury” and “the best library in Asia”, where hosted lectures by the masters such as Rabindranath Tagore, Bertrand Russell, John Dewey, and so on.
The pioneering outlook of The Commercial Press attracted, incubated and united generations of Chinese cultural giants and her national culture mainstay, including Zhang Yuanji, Cai Yuanpei, Chen Yun, Mao Dun, Lu Xun, Ba Jin, Lao She, Yan Fu, Lin Shu, Hu Shi and Zhu Kezhen.
Through decades of hard work and endeavor, it established its base in its dictionaries and academic books as two outstanding highpoints of the modern Chinese publishing industry, scored many national and international awards, including the International Platinum Star Award, China Book Award, National Book Award, National Dictionary Award, Best Works Award and National Award for Excellent Publishers.
Known as dictionary realm, it is the publisher of Xinhua Dictionary （ 《新华字典》 ） , the phenomenal national dictionary currently published over 10 million copies per year on average, with total publishment of over 700 million copies since its first print in 1953, recorded by Guinness World Records as the Most Popular Dictionary and the Best-Selling Reference Book (regularly updated) in 2016. And Contemporary Chinese Dictionary （ 《现代汉语词典》 ） , the first standardizing Chinese dictionary, which has played an irreplaceable role in the standardization and dissemination of the modern Chinese language, hailed as the “matrix” of all Chinese dictionaries, with its unrivalled scientific approach and authority.
Derived from both, it developed and published scores of leading dictionaries and series highly successful in the market, including Oxford Learner’s English-Chinese Dictionaries series, the New Age English-Chinese and Chinese-English Dictionary （ 《新时代汉英大词典》 ） series, and others in more than 80 non-English foreign languages, such as A Grand Russian-Chinese Dictionary （ 《大俄汉词典》 ） , Modern Japanese-Chinese Dictionary （ 《现代日汉大词典》 ） , Ricci Chinese-French Dictionary （ 《利氏汉法辞典》 ） , Wahrig German-Chinese Dictionary （ 《瓦里希德语词典》 ） , New Age Grand Dictionary of Spanish-Chinese （ 《新时代西汉大词典》 ） and Pashtu-Chinese Dictionary （ 《普什图语汉语词典》 ） , leaving it as the most lingually diversified publisher in the world.
Labeled as the stronghold in academic publishing in China, The Commercial Press bears the achievement in the field harvested from the Reform and Opening-up introduced in China in 1978, The Chinese Translation of World Famous Academic Works series(汉译世界学术名著丛书), which output so far over 700 titles offering Chinese intellectuals the windows to the outside world, and Masterpieces of Chinese Modern Academic Series （中华现代学术名著丛书）, which was laid out on “drawing on past learning and initiating future innovation” and “tracing intellectual and cultural roots for China’s path”.
It introduced a synchronized print and electronic publishing strategy in 2014, publishing across all media involving editing, compiling, digitalization, printing, marketing and publishing, operating in its 20 departments and 18 subsidiary and branch companies across China.
For decades, The Commercial Press has maintained long and stable copyright licensing cooperation with over 50 major international publishers via strategic usiness partnership, including Oxford University Press, De Gruyter, Wolters Kluwer, Springer, Routledge, Cambridge University Press, Brill, and so on.