News Asia-Pacific

Sunday 18 February 2018

Chinese publisher releases erotic fairy tales by mistake

Malcolm Moore

A Chinese publisher has been forced to recall a collection of Grimm's Fairy Tales after mistakenly translating an erotic Japanese version of the stories.

The edition of the children's book which hit the shelves in China in October included a reworking of the story of Snow White in which she romps with the seven dwarves.

Red-faced executives at Beijing Mediatime, the publishing house, said a mix-up had occurred when they could not find the original German version of the book to translate, and had turned to a Japanese version instead.

Around 150 copies of the book were sold in Hangzhou before complaints from customers led to the recall.

"Readers called us to say they did not think the book was healthy for children," said Li Yong, the deputy chairman of the publisher.

"After that, we pulled all the copies off shelves across the country before last Wednesday."

Asked how the mix-up had gone unspotted, the publisher said the situation had been "complicated".

Another executive from Beijing Mediatime, only named as Mr Yuan, told the Zhejiang Morning Express newspaper: "We cannot read Japanese, so we cannot make a comparison, but we trusted the translator, who is a post graduate student."

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