The low level of readership in China is the continual subject of public criticism and has shown no signs of resurgence over the last five years. However, a recent survey conducted by ACNielsen, a world famous marketing information company, seems to contradict popular opinions of the Chinese book market, revealing that China has the highest online book-purchasing rate in the world.
A few days ago, the survey results were echoed and confirmed by Peggy Yu, the co-CEO of Dangdang.com, the leading online Chinese book retailer, who also predicted that China was on the cusp of a neo-readership era.
"The revenue from traditional bookstores cannot be referenced to endorse the survey results because the figure is really not that big. But it is not the same story with online bookstores. As a matter of fact, since E-commerce became a part of everyday life, the book market has seen a big leap in sales volume and readership," Ms Yu explained.
Such an increase is attributed to the fact that buying books online is so convenient, and attractive discounts make online bookstores a mecca for bookworms. People have access to more options online, allowing them to shop in the same place for both reference books and literature. The Dangdang.com recently saw a boom, as sales volume and readership quintupled and quadrupled respectively.
"Interpretations of Analects of Confucius by Yu Dan, and On Three Kingdoms by Yi Zhongtian are among the current best-sellers in Shanghai, marking a happy trend that more and more people are seeking an educational and mentally stimulating experience in books instead of a merely recreational one," Yu added.
(China.org.cn by He Shan, July 6, 2007)