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China's Most Read Magazine Go Online
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China's most widely read magazine, Reader, similar to the American magazine Reader's Digest, launched an official website on Thursday, bringing the 16-year-old magazine into the digital era.


The website (www.duzhe.com) featured 14 columns, including essays on art and philosophy, and many were printed on the home page for netizens to read for free.


"The opening of our website is a step forward to meet the challenges brought by digital publishing", said Peng Changcheng, editor-in-chief of the magazine.


"In the beginning, the website will aim to provide an interactive platform between the magazine and readers and expand the magazine's influence on the internet," said Peng.


"Reader has lagged far behind its counterparts in setting up a website due to the difficulties in protecting copyright," said Peng.


"However, Reader should look to the opportunities brought by the internet. Digital publishing is the future trend," he said.


The total market value of the digital magazine industry in China is 20 million yuan (US$2.56 million) and is expected to hit 1.25 billion yuan (US$160 million) by 2010, according to the market researcher iRearch.


First published in 1981, Reader is now the most read magazine in China with an average monthly circulation of over nine million.


Reader is a digest periodical with articles written by its readers.


The magazine was originally named Duzhe Wenzhai (Reader's Digest), which resulted in a copyright dispute with the American magazine of the same name. In 1993, the Chinese digest magazine changed its original name to Reader, ending the year-long legal dispute.


(Xinhua News Agency January 19, 2007)


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