Development of printing industry in Taiwan and Hong Kong 1.2

Section 2 Printing Industry in Hong Kong

Overview of the Printing Industry> I. Overview of the Printing Industry in Hong Kong

After the end of the Second World War, the printing industry in Hong Kong was gradually restored. According to 1947 statistics, there are 165 printing factories in Hong Kong and 2,314 printing employees. Of these few printing factories, more than 95 percent are typographical printing, and very few are mainly lithographs. After 1949, some printing companies moved from Shanghai and Guangzhou. In particular, printing plants from Shanghai not only expanded the printing power in Hong Kong, but also brought Shanghai's advanced printing technology and funds to Hong Kong.

In the early 1950s, Hong Kong was still dominated by letterpress printing, and there were only 26 sets of typographic printers (Hong Kong called offset printing machines). The printing industry in Hong Kong is dominated by small and medium-sized factories. Many printing companies use installments to purchase advanced printing equipment from Europe. Small-scale factories with limited funds purchase used equipment and can also pay in installments.

Although the book printing in Hong Kong started very early, it has developed slowly. Before the fifties, it was mainly scattered commercial printing and packaging and decoration printing. The development of printing technology, relatively speaking, the development of plain printing is faster, and the backward lithography is gradually being eliminated. By the end of the 1950s, Hong Kong printing had greatly improved its production capacity, printing quality, and business credit. It has become a printing center in Southeast Asia, and many British publishers have printed books in Hong Kong.

The rapid economic growth in Hong Kong began in the 1960s. The economic prosperity has also brought opportunities for the development of the printing industry. As Hong Kong's printing workers have good technology and low production costs, many foreign investors have come to Hong Kong to establish printing plants. The printing of foreign businesses at Hong Kong Office brought advanced production technology and corporate management experience. On the other hand, it also opened a window for Hong Kong printing to face the world.

After more than 20 years of development after the war, by the 1970s, Hong Kong's printing industry has laid a certain foundation. Not only commercial printing, packaging and printing have a considerable scale, but books and journals have also made remarkable achievements in printing.

Since 1951, the Hong Kong government has started to use the printing industry as a special industry to implement registration management of printing presses. The law stipulates that the owner of the printing press must report to the police the storage location of the printing press and the records of the relevant printing business operations. Undoubtedly, this law will have certain restrictions on the development of the printing industry. In 1977, the Hong Kong government withdrew the legislation. This is an important factor that has contributed to the rapid development of the printing industry in Hong Kong. In the 1960s, there were 642 printing factories in Hong Kong. By the 1970s, it had increased to more than 1,500 and had more than 20,000 employees.

The development of the printing industry is not only reflected in the increase in the number of factories, but also in the progress of printing technology. At the beginning of the 1950s, the printing industry was almost the world of typographic printing. Since the fifties, the rapid development of plain printing (Offset Printing) has not only eliminated the backward lithographic printing, but has also gradually shifted from monochrome printing to four-color printing. change. For example, the last Lingnan printing factory that had been using lead relief printing also closed the letterpress printing department in 1986. However, some business cards, envelopes, letterhead and other parts of the printing, as well as stamping, bronzing and other live parts have to use letterpress printing, but these numbers are limited.

The flourishing development of the printing industry has provided a solid technical foundation for the prosperity of the Hong Kong book printing industry and the prosperity of the commercial and packaging printing industry. The entire seventies to eighties was the golden age of Hong Kong's printing and development. In the past 20 years, computer typesetting has completely replaced traditional typesetting of movable type; plain printing has replaced lead type printing; from original commercial and package printing, it has been transformed into printing mainly; books and periodicals printing has been mainly sold domestically; Mainly for export. The output value of the printing industry has grown at an annual rate of more than 20%, which is even higher than the 16% annual growth rate of Hong Kong's overall economy. In the 1980s, Hong Kong's printing industry was second only to Japan in Asia and has become one of the world's four largest printing centers. In several major manufacturing industries in Hong Kong, the percentage of value-added in the printing industry as a whole was 4.2% in 1977 and increased to 11.5% in 1994. In the eight major manufacturing industries, the added value of the printing industry is Highest. The total production value of the printing industry in Hong Kong in 1984 was HK$6.786 billion, and in 1994 it increased to HK$24.4 billion. The output value of the printing industry accounts for 8.23% of the total output value of the manufacturing industry.

The printing industry in Hong Kong has developed in the fierce market competition. Since the 1980s, there have been two clear trends in the printing industry: First, the traditional husband-and-wife, father-son, and brother-familial businesses are no longer able to adapt to the fiercely competitive market mechanism. The printing industry is also actively seeking change. Many printing companies are moving toward the development of joint-stock companies; second, Hong Kong’s real estate prices and wages are getting higher and higher. In order to reduce production costs, in the good social environment in which China’s reform and opening up attract foreign investment, many companies are labor-intensive. Production relocation to the Mainland will only preserve those fine products with short production cycles and high technical requirements that are locally produced in Hong Kong. Although the inward transfer of the factory increased the cost of transportation, the labor, raw materials, and real estate prices in the mainland were all cheaper than those in Hong Kong, and the total was still economical. In the 1990s, it was estimated that one-third of the factories were relocated to the Mainland in whole or in part, or that they had invested in factories in the Mainland.

Pre-press platemaking is a key factor in determining the printing quality and production cycle. Since the mid-1980s, computer technology has been successfully applied to the pre-press graphics processing, and electronic color separation technology computer group system and desktop publishing system have emerged. Hong Kong responded quickly to the printing of new technology with the superior geographical conditions of its Freeport. Most publishing houses and newspaper offices have provided computer desktop publishing systems, which have caused traditional photoengraving systems to shrink.

From Table 26-12, it can be seen that from 1960 to 1995, the scale of the printing industry in Hong Kong has changed significantly over the past 30 years.

Table 26 - Changes in the number of printing factories and the number of employees in Hong Kong from 1991 to 1995

Year Number of Factories Number of Employees Average Number of Factories per Million Overall Manufacturing Industry Average Number of Factories Percentage of Printing Industry Factories as a % of Total Manufacturing Factories (%) 19606428784144112.019658141487818399.4197010621839717336.4197515321948813224.9198025892644910205.719853253303859186.8198633753213410186.919873577337029177.119883811344869177.519893980364149168.01990434437487

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