100 million yuan ($14 million) is how much the Beijing municipal government spent this year to assist 239 bookstores in the Chinese capital.

With a population of over 21 million it’s hardly surprising Beijing has lots of bookstores, and being a country that has not fully embraced free market principles it’s hardly surprising some bookstores get help from the state to provide an essential service.

But this year that help ran to the USD equivalent of $14 million, with over half of that going towards rent subsidies, with 14 all-night bookstores receiving extra assistance.

The 2019 subsidy was twice the amount offered last year, and that 50 million yuan value in turn was triple that offered in 2017.

Read more over at China Daily.

The latest numbers – this just for Beijing remember – lend credence to the possibility explored recently in TNPS that China is now the largest book market both by revenue and volume.