“You’re stepping on my shadow, please back off,” she said.

Sun Yisheng / Nicky Harman

China's Online Reading Craze Is So Big It's Challenging Amazon's Kindle


The interactive experience of China Literature is another main differentiator – most of its content is serialized, which means writers will often publish work chapter by chapter, sometimes altering plot lines based on suggestions from users. And it’s the discussion forum, which sits alongside the main story, that Pan enjoys most. She remembers a time when many fellow readers wanted two main characters in a novel to become romantically involved. Eventually the author wrote this into the plot. "Serialized works banish the sense of loneliness," Pan said. "When reading on Kindle, you are facing a single terminal; when reading Chinese online novels, you are engaging with a community."


# 1.   

It's weird how the article seems to be comparing all of China Literature with all of Amazon – that doesn't seem like a very useful comparison. They're essentially operating in separate markets: I'm sure the vast majority of China Literature's customers are inside China, while the Kindle barely has a foothold in the country. Seems like apples to oranges.

 Eric Abrahamsen, July 17, 2017, 8:01p.m.

# 2.   

The reference to using a Kindle reader in China (at the opening), and several references thereafter to Amazon/Kindle (referring to them in a global context, I assume), are indeed confusing.

But don't let this obscure several interesting facts:

1) Chinese online literature sites have figured out a convenient way to get consumers to pay to read unedited fiction that is authored largely by novice writers and generally has never appeared in hard copy "published" form;

2) Some of these sites have millions of end-users (China Literature claims 175m) and have been able to earn revenues in the millions of US$ (China Literature claims US$384m), even though the per-read charge is miniscule.

All of which indicates that Chinese online lit sites are creatively tapping into a young and dynamic readership in a very unique way. Who says young people don't read? Or that China's e-commerce merchants are mere copycats?

Bruce Humes, July 17, 2017, 11:19p.m.

# 3.   

what's your fav. Chinese lit. sites, Bruce? I am at loss now as I got banned from blog.sciencenet.cn after July 15th. I can't read anybody's blog any more. bummer! I find many scientists there had unusual sense of humor in writing witty classical Chinese verses. The loss is totally theirs, now they wouldn't have ME to cheer on by the sideline.

susan, July 21, 2017, 9:49a.m.


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