Smuggling Zhao's Story into China

An illegal PDF version of the memoirs is being circulated all over the country, says Adi Ignatius.
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TRANSCRIPT

Question: How is the book being received?

Adi Ignatius: This book cannot be sold in China. There’s no way. However, there is a Chinese language version that was printed in Hong Kong and we know that people from mainland China who visited Hong Kong are stuffing their suitcases with it before they go back. It sold out in the airports, but probably more importantly somebody scanned in a PDF version which is up on a file server and it looks like it’s being downloaded all over China. So the Chinese language version of this book is read by anybody who cares about it, so again it becomes part of the dialogue inside China.

Simon & Schuster was the publisher of the U.S. edition and controlled the foreign rights and they are actually thrilled. They probably wouldn’t say it publicly, so I have to say it for them, but nobody was going to buy the book in China, so the idea that it is actually getting out there is great even if it’s a PDF version. PDF books circulating is normally terrifying for a publisher in this case I think they’re pretty happy about it.

Recorded on: June 19, 2009