Library Watch
White paper on 2017 China digital reading published

A white paper on 2017 China digital reading was published on April 13, 2018, when the China Digital Reading Conference kicked off in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province.

According to the white paper, the market of China’s digital reading industry in 2017 was valued at 15.2 billion yuan, up 26.7 percent year on year. The major growth lied in the paid service that provides knowledge through audio. The market of audiobooks witnessed a decline in 2017 to 4.06 billion yuan, with its growth rate down to 39.7 percent from 48.3 percent a year earlier. Although the online literature provides abundant resources for audiobooks, the market still has rooms to explore considering the proportion of users willing to pay for services and the amount of content supplies. 

According to the data, the proportion of users willing to pay for e-books rose to 63.8 percent in 2017 from 60.3 percent in 2016. The average price readers willing to pay for a single e-book was 13.6 yuan in 2017, up 52.8 percent from 8.9 yuan in 2016.

AI empowerment became a keyword in 2017 regarding the content production methods, including automatically converting audio to text, paragraphing articles based on keywords, and writing articles according to preset ideas and thoughts.

Meanwhile, new technologies such as e-reading, social recommendation and machine reading have witnessed a better user acceptance. More than 60 percent of the readers said they would choose e-books in the future, while 47.2 percent said they chose e-books based on social recommendations. More than 90 percent of the readers said they accepted machine reading, and over 50 percent said they were willing to pay to watch adapted movies, TV dramas and stage plays.

The conference also unveiled China’s top 10 digital reading cities in 2017, namely Shenzhen, Nanjing, Haikou, Hangzhou, Changsha, Chengdu, Zhongshan, Guiyang, Xi’an and Dalian. The ranking is based on the digital reading index in each city. The index takes into account five indicators – the penetration rate of digital reading, the average number of books a citizen reads, the average amount of money a citizen willing to pay for books, the average number of days a citizen spends reading books, and the average number of e-books a citizen is currently reading.