The Little Red Book and other publications continue to produce royalties for Mao's estate more than 30 years after his death.
An article published in the magazine Literary World of Party History laid out just how much Mao has earned from his writing.
It said that in 1967 he was worth 5.7 million yuan ($780,000, £400,000) from books printed in Chinese, English, Russian, French, Spanish and Japanese.
But that figure, including interest, had risen to 130 million yuan ($17.6m, £8.8m) by 2001. The article did not say how much the estate is worth now.
I knew that old commie had the heart of a canny money manager when I heard that the leftist folksinger Phil Ochs had reprinted some of Mao's nonpolitical poetry on an album sleeve. Just for the hell of it, Ochs sent the chairman a check for the rights to the verses. To the singer's surprise, the check was cashed.
Mao's heirs would like to dip into the Helmsman's hoards, but China's cabinet
decided to uphold an earlier decision not to give the money to Mao's relatives because his writings were not his own, but the "crystallisation of the party's collective wisdom".
Insert Randian rant here about collectivist second-handers taking credit for a great man's solitary creation.