The development of the earliest printing technology can be traced as follows:
- In the beginning the system of hand printing was developed in China, Japan and Korea.
- The wood block printing was developed in China. In this technology the books were printed by rubbing the paper against the surface of the woodblocks.
- The volume of the print increased in China due to the increase in the number of candidates in the civil services exam through which the candidates were recruited in the huge bureaucratic system.
- 17th century urbanization in China also diversified the use of print in China. The scholar officials, merchants, rich women, wives and courtesans started the use of print.
- The western printing techniques and mechanical presses reached the outpost of China and thus Shanghai became the hub of this new print culture.