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Chinese publishing science has its own theoretical origins and unique characteristics. Since 1970s, publishing as a science has grown up rapidly in China. This paper presents a structured overview of Chinese publishing research in its full historical depth and thematic breadth. It first introduces a brief history of publishing science in China, and then identifies the main characteristics and key areas of research. Consistent with the divide in social research, the debate between positivistic and naturalistic paradigms has also characterized the development of global publishing science. The interpretivist paradigm of Chinese publishing research leads to unique research subjects and methods. The subjects, on the one hand, are more focused on meta-theory. Theory building and integration has been the main goal in the past three decades. The methods, on the other hand, have been generally qualitative, including historical, interpretive, and critical analysis. Current key research areas include theoretical construction of publishing science, history of publishing, cultural studies of publishing, publishing economics, digital publishing and copyright. This paper also discusses the challenges facing publishing researchers in China and their possible solutions.