Oct 15, 2020|

Collective Upward Trend for Textbook Sales in China on JD


by Kelly Dawson

Sales of primary and secondary education textbooks during the first seven months of 2020 increased by nearly 4% year-on-year; with university and adult education aides also seeing an increase of 3.72% year-on-year in the same period, according to a report released by one of JD’s research arms, the Jingkai Research Institute.

The report, which includes analysis for the secondary and elementary school education market, and the university and adult education market, found an upward trend for composition books, economics and management, and traditional cultural content such as ancient poetry.

According to JD’s data, the transaction volume of examination and certification training courses also increased by 9% year-on-year during the period of January to July. More specifically, training in financial topics saw a boost—among the related categories that grew in popularity were test preparation aides for registered tax accountant certification, accounting and other economics and management courses.

The self-improvement and self-education trend continued with adult English training courses, which increased by 280% year-on-year; and training for users’ skills like Photoshop.

The report also broke down the regions that enjoyed the highest sales across China. From January to July of this year, the highest proportion of users and transaction volume for primary and middle school teaching aides came from Central and South China; followed closely by Eastern China, with a difference of about 2%.

For college and adult education textbooks, Eastern China led transaction volume and proportion of users, but the gap was very small with the regions of Central South, North China, and Western China, which each accounted for over 20% of total sales.

According to the data, the five top-selling cities for primary and secondary school textbooks, and adult and education textbooks, were Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Chengdu. Of these, Beijing ranked first for both categories with more than 10% transaction volume, which was far higher than Guangzhou, which ranked second.

New first-tier cities like Chongqing, Xi’an, Tianjin and Suzhou also ranked top ten, with the report speculating that rising book sales could be attributed to an increase in economic development, a larger permanent population, higher levels of consumption and higher emphasis and demand for education.

As various categories demonstrate a collective upward trend, the consumption potential for the textbook market has yet to be fully tapped, the report concluded.