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Chinese online literature favors more realistic themes

Xinhua | Updated: 2019-08-12 18:50
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BEIJING -- Up to 65 percent of online literary works were about realistic themes, a 24-percent increase year on year, according to a report on the development of Chinese online literature in 2018.

In 2018, 7.95 million online literary works were newly uploaded, raising the total number to 24.42 million, up 48.3 percent over that of 2017, said the report released by the China Audio-video and Digital Publishing Association earlier this week, based on the research of 83 leading Internet reading platforms.

Fantasy and period themes used to be popular with readers of online literature, which in China refer to the fictions first released on online platforms such as websites and mobile apps, where readers can access the first few chapters for free and need to pay for the rest. Popular works may have the chance to be published.

"The increase of realistic works should be attributed to the encouragement of the people-oriented perspective in artistic works," said Wang Yefei, head of Beijing's press and publication administration, at a seminar at the China Online Literature+ Conference which opened Friday.

Online literature has emerged from a marginal area to the main stage and has to keep up with the times and cater to the mainstream market, Wang said.

Realistic themes inject vitality in online literature and broaden their horizon, said Xiao Jinghong, deputy director with the institute of Internet literature of the Chinese Writers Association.

"We hope that online literature will be more diverse and writers can dive into real life," said Zhang Rong, vice president of China Reading, the country's largest online publisher.

According to the report, China had 430 million online literature readers, up 14.4 percent year on year.

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