Although Amazon’s Kindle line of e-readers is not officially for sale in China, it is available on the gray market, such as Taobao which is China’s answer to eBay, with prices ranging from a special offer of 700 yuan (105 dollars) to 5,000 yuan.
This is actually big news and lots of people are privately selling Kindles in Mainland China and are selling up to 300 units per month. Which the units sold pale in comparison to an estimated 400 million people who spend their time online.
It really looks like the powers that be in China have overlooked this device due to the book buying focus and see it as an e-reader only. All users who register an account with Amazon are secure within corporate Amazon so the user information is not available to the Chinese Authorities.
The Kindle has its own network, called Amazon Whispernet, to provide wireless coverage via AT&T’s 3G data network in the US and partner networks in the rest of the world. It seems the Kindle WIFI does not bypass all of the firewalls due to its reliance on local internet connections. The Kindle 3 has an integrated web browser that allows people to connect to the internet and surf any webpage that they want, in crisp e-ink.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.