A survey on Chinese people's reading habits found that Chinese readers still prefer not to pay for e-books.
Since early this year, Beijing OpenBook Co., Ltd., an information service company for the book retail industry, has surveyed 8,048 respondents on their reading habits in the multimedia era.
It was the tenth time for the company to conduct such a survey, the results of which were released to Xinhua on Wednesday.
Of all the respondents, 3,561 were interviewed at bookstores and 4,487 were polled online.
The survey the company conducted in 2010 found that for every one person who had ever paid for an e-book, there were three others who had not. That proportion has stood unchanged.
Moreover, of the 3,561 respondents polled at bookstores this year, seven times more people have never paid for an e-book than those who have, a proportion even higher than that in 2010.
Meanwhile, online bookstores have become more attractive, as 21.2 percent of the 3,561 respondents in bookstores described online bookstores as their primary source of book purchases this year, while only 10 percent of respondents interviewed in bookstores in 2010 listed online bookstores as their primary source for book purchases.
In recent years, the competition between real bookstores and online book sellers has become increasingly fierce, with real bookstores being edged out of the market.
Since 2010, big online retailers such as Jingdong and Suning have joined Dangdang and Amazon in operating online bookstores.
Also according to this year's survey, smartphones overtook personal computers (PCs) as the principal devices used for reading e-books, followed by PCs, tablet computers and handheld readers.