As Chinese demand for foreign books continues to grow, authors and publishers doing business in China face challenges posed by the Chinese government’s speech restrictions. We would like to draw your attention to ongoing efforts by the PEN American Center, the AAP International Freedom to Publish Committee, and dozens of publishers in addressing the Chinese government’s censorship of translated works in mainland China.
Earlier this year, the PEN American Center released a comprehensive report on the challenges foreign authors face when publishing in China. The account uncovered the mechanisms by which Chinese authorities and publishers censor translated works by foreign authors—often without their knowledge—and measured the impact of censorship on foreign authors publishing in China. Based on their findings, the PEN American Center and its partners have issued recommendations for authors as well as best practices for publishers doing business in China, both as measures to mitigate the impact of censorship and as restatements of free expression values.
The principled approach to censorship advocated by the PEN American Center and its partners has the full support of the Authors Guild. We’re hopeful that this effort will allow foreign authors and publishers to knowledgeably navigate the Chinese publishing landscape and to reach Chinese readers without compromising the integrity of their work.