Taiwan’s largest retail bookstore chain Eslite Bookstore has apparently stopped selling sensitive books on Tibet and human rights issues at its outlet in Hong Kong, with the decision not going down too well with some employees, according to a report.
Following the company’s move, some staff in Hong Kong wrote to Eslite’s founder Wu Ching-yu and some have even threatened to quit, Apple Daily said Thursday.
Sources from publishing industry were quoted as saying that as Eslite is looking to set up shop in Suzhou and Shanghai, it is not surprising that it will avoid selling books that will cause discomfort to mainland authorities.
Reporters who browsed through the Eslite store in Hong Kong’s Causeway Bay district could find only travel-related books on Tibet, while those dealing with human rights issues were nowhere to be seen, the paper said.
An Eslite spokesperson, however, denied that book titles were taken off the shelves due to political reasons. Several thousand book titles come in and go out of the Hong Kong store every year, and it could just be an inventory issue, the spokesperson said.
Jimmy Pang, director of Subculture Ltd., a specialist publisher on politically sensitive subjects, said it is understandable that Eslite would conduct self-censorship in order to gain access to the mainland market.
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