Sunday, November 29, 2009
China Digital Wars
China is a huge opportunity for all and digital publishing is no exception. It is predicted by DisplaySearch’s 'BUY: e-paper display' report that China will experience ereader device growth over the next 5 years from 800,000 to 3 million, which would represent some 20% of the global ereader sales market. The questions are many. Who will win the prize and will it be a Chinese or foreign offer that steals the show? Is China prepared to roll over and let the likes of Google dictate terms on Chinese writers and their copywrite? Who will digitise the content?
The Founder Technology Group is a major Chinese conglomerate with some $6.6 billion revenues. Around 50% of these revenues come from IT services and products and it has its own digital publishing group and online digital books website, Fanshu.com. Fanshu.com is already the largest digital library in China with over 500,000 digital books and now plans to increase this to 1.8 million books.
Google has already run into opposition on its scanning some 20,000 Chinese and as some would say in their usual practice scanned first before getting authorization from Chinese writers or regulatory agencies.
But the players are as vast and diverse as the country. These now include Founder’s Fanshu.com, Google’s Google Books, China Mobile, China Unicom, Datang Telecom Technology, Hanwang Technology and Beijing Huaqi Information Digital Technology