Beijing International Book Fair: E-Publishing Boosts China's Booming $150bn Book Market

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Beijing International Book Fair - Digitization

Sales of ebooks and digital products flew dramatically last year, hitting some 80 billion RMB ($11.8 billion) in 2009 - up from 50 billion RMB ($7.35 billion USD) in 2008. It still represents less than 10% of the overall book market, which is valued at just over a trillion RMB ($150 billion USD).

E-readers in particular have become a hot product. As reported here last month, Shanda Literature Group -- the country's largest digital publisher -- released heir first dedicated e-reader, the Bambook.

In May, China Mobile -- the world's largest cell phone carrier -- announced that it was building China's largest online digital bookstore. The company plans to offer its subscribers 3G wireless access to online publications including digital books, comics, newspapers and magazines -- some 60,000 titles in all -- and hopes to attract some 200 million users over the next five years.

Earlier, in April, China Publishing Group -- the country's largest traditional publisher -- and Shanghai Century Publishing Group also released their own e-readers.

To get a sense of the pace of growth, consider just one ereader manufacturer: Hanwang. In 2009, Hanwang reported total sales of 270,000 e-readers; this year, the company nearly matched the number in sales in the first quarter alone and expects total units to surpass a million by the end of the year.

Digitization is pushing publishing into "a new historical period" and offering "unprecedented opportunities, according to Sun Shoushan, deputy director of China's General Administration of Press and Publication (GAPP), who made the remarks earlier this year

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This page contains a single entry by achuka published on August 27, 2010 11:53 AM.

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