Jingdong Mall to tap e-book market

Updated: 2012-01-10 10:15


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BEIJING - Chinese online retailer Jingdong Mall is planning to launch an e-book service to tap into the emerging e-book market in the world's most populous country.

Shi Tao, vice president of Jingdong Mall (www.360buy.com), said Monday the service will offer more than 80,000 e-books upon being launched, with a goal of offering 300,000 e-books by the end of the year.

He said the service is currently being offered on a trial basis and will be officially launched in the near future.

As the first online retailer in China to exceed 10 billion yuan ($1.58 billion) in annual sales, Jingdong Mall will use its massive customer base as an advantage when tapping the e-book market, Shi said.

"Our customers are used to e-commerce, and many registered book buyers purchase books and videos at least twice a month," Shi said.

China's e-book industry has been plagued by poor performance and a lack of transparency when it comes to settling digital copyright issues.

Shi said Jingdong will solve this problem by acting as an industry agent and sharing profits with publishing houses. Jingdong Mall has signed cooperative agreements with more than 200 publishers including People's Literature Publishing House.

"The platform should create a win-win situation for Jingdong and publishers," Shi said.

Industry observers believe China's e-book market is developing substantially with the participation of Jingdong Mall and Dangdang.com, another online retailer that launched its own e-book service last month.

Jingdong moved into the digital realm in 2004, selling products such as consumer electronics, computers and books. It now has 25 million registered users and 6,000 suppliers nationwide.

More than 170 million Chinese, or 35.6 percent of the country's total Internet users, had been online buyers, according to a statistical report released by the China Internet Network Information Center in July 2011.

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