Sherlock Holmes uses Chinese TikTok (Douyin) to attract new generation of Chinese readers

2022 Phoenix Publishing Group and NewRank New Media report

LONDON and BEIJING, April 17, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Sherlock Holmes is a bestseller in China again, thanks to rapid growth in social media book sales. 85% of all Chinese books are now sold online and book sales via social media have risen by 800% over the last six years.

Detective Sherlock Holmes (Yilin Press, imprint of Phoenix Publishing and Media Group), a new children’s title published in China based on Conan Doyle classics, sold 10,000 copies in the first three days via an online influencer’s short video, and sold 300,000 in three months in 2022.

Reading tags on Douyin (Chinese TikTok) have increased by 315% in 2022, leading to direct sales of 250 million units. This rapid growth in social media book sales is expanding the book market; 45% book purchases through Douyin were from consumers buying books for the first time.

Book sales via short-form video increased 43% in 2022, now outstripping sales through physical bookshops.

New Media for Publishing: Chinese book sales annual report published by Phoenix Publishing and Media Group, one of the largest publishing groups in China, and new media data monitor

Mr Song Jishu, Vice President of Phoenix Publishing and Media said,

“We are delighted to see Phoenix Group is now No.2 in the most influential Chinese New Media Publishers. Our imprint, Yilin Press, found a new audience on Douyin (Chinese Tiktok) for international titles, including The Count of Monte-Cristo, Ulysses and the Divine Comedy as well as the phenomenal success of Detective Sherlock.”

Top 10 Chinese new media publishers

Ranking 2022


Publisher Name


China Publishing Group



Phoenix Publishing and Media Inc



China Education Publishing & Media Group



CITIC Press Group



Shanghai Century Publishing Group



Anhui Publishing Group


Zhejiang Publishing United Group


Central China Land Media Co. Ltd.



Tianjin Publishing and Media Group



South China Publishing Group


Full report in Chinese:

New Media for Publishing is a report into Chinese book sales published by Phoenix Publishing and Media Group and This is the second annual survey of 580 publishers on six social media accounts: WeChat, Weibo, Douyin (Chinese TikTok), Kwai, BiliBili and WeChat video in 2022.

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SOURCE Phoenix Publishing

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