Amazon Kindle China has officially been open for one full year and currently a number of e-readers and eBooks are being sold. Today, we look at some of the progress that is being made and how the content distribution system has evolved since the original launch.
When Amazon China first opened their doors to sell digital books, the company had a paltry 2,000 titles available. The ecosystem has grown and there is close to 6,200 available right now from over 300 partner publishing house. There is also a number of digital only content starting to come out on a monthly basis. For instance, collections of selected Q&As on Quora-like Chinese site Zhihu.com, travel guides on travel sharing site Qyer.com, and essays on news and opinion site Huxiu.com are available to purchase. The average title in the store is around .80 US.
The Amazon bookstore has been available in China since December 2012, but customers did not have the ability to buy the e-readers or tablets. People who wanted the dedicated hardware had to look at the grey market or download the official app on any Android or iOS device. When June 2013 rolled around, Amazon decided to get in the hardware game launched the Paperwhite for 849 yuan ($138), the Kindle Fire priced at 1499 yuan ($244) for the 16GB edition and 1799 yuan ($293) for 32GB.
According to Technode, “Online reading and, more recently, mobile reading have been widely consumed in China. The China mobile reading market in 2012 was about RMB 5.6 billion ($900-ish million), with a 30% growth, Amazon China introduced citing research results from Imedia Research Group. Of the 290 million Chinese mobile reading users, 67% read e-books or online literature, 59% read online news and 29% read blogs or articles on online forums. Amazon China found that the top two categories Chinese Kindle book readers purchased are literature and economics books.”
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.