Brief History
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Brief History

The Commercial Press is the longest-standing modern publishing house in China. Guided constantly by the principle of fostering cultural enhancement and intellectual enlightenment, its impact on the history of cultural and educational publishing in modern China has been profound and far-reaching.

The Commercial Press first set up at Shanghai in 1897

Founded in Shanghai in 1897, The Commercial Press began as a print shop, producing account books and ledgers for commercial use, advertisementsíK even church bibles as requested. Later, no expense was spared to recruit technicians and engineers, organize study tours abroad and invent new machinery, all of which helped bring about the emergence of modern printing in China.

In 1902, Zhang Yuanji, an outstanding Chinese scholar of the time, joined the founders of the press. With the self-appointed mission of promoting education, he set up an editorial and translation department, thus launching The Commercial Press's publishing business. By 1931, over 8,000 titles had been published, including modern textbooks, new publications introducing Western knowledge, several Chinese-foreign language bilingual dictionaries, ancient Chinese texts and various magazines.

The Hong Kong branch of The Commercial Press was established in 1914, initially as a retail business. Not long after this, with the construction of a print shop and the setting up of editorial and distribution departments, the company became a fully integrated publishing house. Textbooks for Hong Kong made their debut as early as 1917. During the 1930s, a complete set of textbooks for Southeast Asian schools was produced. Then in 1957, the company began to compile textbooks for the 5-year syllabus being taught at that time in Hong Kong's Chinese Middle Schools. Since then, as well as continuing to produce various textbooks, the company has published dictionaries of Chinese and other languages, pictorial books on history and culture and books on the humanities and social sciences. In 1988, the Hong Kong branch was formally registered as The Commercial Press (H.K.) Ltd.

The Commercial Press first set up at Hong Kong in 1924

Today, The Commercial Press thrives as three independent companies located in Hong Kong, Beijing and Taiwan. Because of their common origin and history, these companies frequently work together in long-term, close cooperation. In 1993, in order to better facilitate working hand in hand for the advancement of education and enlightenment and the promotion of Chinese culture, these three companies jointly set up Commercial Press International.

The Commercial Press (H.K.) Ltd. is devoted to promoting cultural and educational enterprises in this new age of information. Building upon the foundation of both printed and digital format publishing, it will continue to advance, actively pursuing new developments and greater diversification.