Mo­bile lit­er­a­ture hits pay dirt as mil­len­ni­als book­end mar­ket

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - BUSINESS - By OUYANG SHIJIA ouyang­shi­jia@ chi­nadaily.com.cn See See page 14

A new busi­ness has emerged in China that makes money by se­ri­al­iz­ing and pub­lish­ing dig­i­tal lit­er­a­ture, in­clud­ing nov­els, for users of hand-held de­vices.

One such work, Ten Miles of Peach Blos­soms, based on hit sto­ries orig­i­nat­ing on the in­ter­net, has hit pay dirt and high­lights the boom in the new busi­ness.

As­pir­ing au­thors now serve nu­mer­ous lit­er­ary works to mil­lions of on­line read­ers through plat­forms such as China Read­ing, a lit­er­a­ture­fo­cused arm of Ten­cent Hold­ings Ltd, which is best known for its all-in-one app WeChat.

A re­cent re­port by iRe­search Con­sult­ing Group said a grow­ing num­ber of Chi­nese are read­ing e-books on mo­bile de­vices rather than PCs. Some 265 mil­lion Chi­nese read e-books on mo­bile de­vices and 217 mil­lion read e-books on PCs, it said.

Ev­i­dently, Chi­nese mil­len­ni­als have fallen in love with on­line lit­er­a­ture as de­vices, mo­bile in­ter­net tech­nolo­gies and soft­ware make on-screen read­ing plea­sur­able and con­ve­nient.

To mon­e­tize the po­ten­tial in the trend, Ten­cent last week con­firmed it would spin off China Read­ing and list the e-book pub­lisher in Hong Kong, of­fer­ing 15 per­cent stake to pub­lic while re­tain­ing a ma­jor­ity stake (which is cur­rently over 65 per­cent).

“Read­ing is no longer con­fined by time and space. We’re now en­ter­ing a brand new age to em­brace the on­line read­ing trend,” said Zhu Jing, vi­cepres­i­dent of China Read­ing.

Founded in 2015, the com- pany boasts 4 mil­lion nov­el­ists on its con­trib­u­tor list and 600 mil­lion users in China. The more than 10 mil­lion orig­i­nal nov­els for which it holds rights span nearly 200 gen­res.

Zhu said the com­pany is build­ing an in­ter­na­tional open plat­form aimed at of­fer­ing bet­ter user ex­pe­ri­ences and seek­ing new mo­men­tum in the key mar­ket.

Early last month, the com­pany an­nounced it will es­tab­lish a con­tent co­op­er­a­tion in­dus­trial fund and spend 200 mil­lion yuan ($29 mil­lion) to sup­port the long-term sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment of the pub­lish­ing sec­tor, in­clud­ing in­tro­duc­ing bet­ter sto­ries, sup­port­ing con­tent pro­duc­ers and young tal­ented au­thors.

The firm’s open plat­form en­ables de­vel­op­ers to in­clude China Read­ing’s con­tent on their apps, cre­at­ing new pos­si­bil­i­ties like shar­ing of con­tent and rev­enue.

So far, China Read­ing has part­nered with nearly 50 e-book plat­forms, in­clud­ing Baidu and JD.com.

Chi­nese read e-books on mo­bile de­vices and 217 mil­lion read e-books on per­sonal com­put­ers

ZHANG YANG / FOR CHINA DIALY

Pas­sen­gers read e-books on mo­bile de­vices on a sub­way train in Guangzhou, Guang­dong prov­ince.

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