Ama­zon launches new sub­scrip­tion ser­vice

China Daily (Canada) - - ACROSS AMERICAS - By MENG JING in Bei­jing mengjing@chi­

Af­ter wit­ness­ing grow­ing in­ter­est in paid con­tent in China, Ama­zon Kin­dle of­fi­cially un­veiled a new sub­scrip­tion ser­vice on Tues­day that of­fers all-you-can-read dig­i­tal books for 12 yuan ($1.84) per month.

The ser­vice called Kin­dle Un­lim­ited gives Chi­nese sub­scribers ac­cess to more than 44,000 e-books. Sub­scribers can read the e-books on any Kin­dle de­vice or any de­vice, in­clud­ing smart­phones and tablet com­put­ers, with Ama­zon’s Kin­dle app in­stalled.

The ser­vice is aimed to pro­vide Chi­nese cus­tomers a more flex­i­ble way to read and to foster China’s nascent e-book mar­ket, said Gu Fan, the head of Kin­dle con­tent prod­uct man­age­ment at Ama­zon China.

Ama­zon launched its Kin­dle e-book store in China in De­cem­ber 2012. It saw the num­ber of ac­tive paid read­ers per month shoot up about 37 times by the end of 2015.

The Kin­dle Un­lim­ited ser­vice was launched when China saw a drop in the num­ber of books be­ing read by its peo­ple.

Zhu Ning, an econ­o­mist, who re­cently pub­lished a book named The Guar­an­teed Bub­ble, said the num­ber of books read by Chi­nese peo­ple is “em­bar­rass­ingly low”.

How­ever, for the sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment of the sub­scrip­tion ser­vice, Kin­dle needs to get more pub­lish­ers and au­thors to par­tic­i­pate.

Zou Ji­hua, di­rec­tor of dig­i­tal me­dia divi­sion of China South Booky Cul­ture Me­dia Co Ltd, a Tian­jin-based pub­lisher, saw part­ner­ing with Kin­dle more of a way of mar­ket­ing books rather than di­rectly mak­ing big money by sell­ing e-books.

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