The mainland has launched a nationwide campaign to transform more than 6,000 non-political newspapers and periodicals - all except the main party publications - into enterprises by the end of this year, a senior media official announced. Liu Binjie, director of the General Administration of Press and Publication, (GAPP), was quoted by the People's Daily yesterday as saying that about a fifth of publications had already been transformed from government institutions into businesses. Liu made the remarks at the launch ceremony for the China News and Publishing Media Group in Beijing on Sunday. The group controls China Press and Publication News, a newspaper affiliated with GAPP, two magazines, a website and an advertising company. The move would improve non-political publications, roughly two-thirds of which lost money, Liu said. 'The number of publications won't decrease a lot, but the number of publication units will drop ... as smaller publications will merge into larger media groups,' Liu said. 'Non-political publications have become a key battlefield in publicity,' Liu said, adding that reform could not be conducted without collaboration. Zhan Jiang, a professor of journalism at Beijing Foreign Studies University, said: 'Those publications will turn into enterprises, which is a form of marketisation. They will follow the rules of the survival of the fittest.' The publications include central and local daily newspapers owned by party publication groups said Liu.