With "The Three-Body Problem," Liu Cixin, China's most famous sci-fi writer, won the Hugo Award for Best Novel in 2015. In 2016, another Chinese writer, Hao Jingfang, won the Hugo Award for Best Novelette for "Folding Beijing." Besides these two novels, very few Chinese sci-fi works are known to readers outside of China.
Both books were translated by Chinese-American writer Ken Liu, who himself is a two-time Hugo Award winner. His translation is considered to be one of the reasons behind Liu and Hao's awards as only books published in English can be shortlisted in the first place.
Besides the language barrier, the lack of a large basis of professional sci-fi writers is perhaps the root reason. "If we say China publishes 250 sci-fi books every year, then the number would be almost 10 times higher in the U.S.," Chinese sci-fi writer Wang Jinkang once told the media.
"The number of veteran sci-fi writers in China is no more than 30. Even if we include the new [writers], the number is less than 200. That's quite disproportionate compared with our large population,” Ji Shaoting, director of the Future Science Fiction Master Workshop, said in an interview with huxiu.com.