Those were the days when people in China had to go out on the streets to read the news that were posted on walls. Today, more Chinese connect to Internet services than in any other country. Chinese have also widely adopted large screen smartphones. Perhaps one thing leads to another, but in any case, reading ebooks is now more popular than reading paper books in China.
A bookstore in Chenzen, China by Robert Scoble on Flickr.
The Chinese government news site reported on a study that was conducted by the Chinese Academy of Press and Publication in September 2014. The organization surveyed 35 000 adults across China about their reading habits. The highlights of the survey results are:
– 58.1% of Chinese adults read digital books in 2014, and 58% read print books.
– Ebooks were up 8%, but reading paper books grew only 0.2%.
– 51.8% read on mobile phones, while 49.4% used a computer for reading.
– Only 5.3% used an e-reader, and 9.9% a tablet.
– Reading online took about 55 minutes each day on average, whereas printed books got citizens’ attention for 19 minutes and newspapers for 19 minutes as well.
– 67.6% of Chinese between 18 and 39 years had adopted digital reading habits.
The numbers are impressive for ebooks. China may be the first market where reading ebooks became more popular than reading paper books. Sales of ebooks in China compared with the sales of printed books is another matter. The sales of digital goods, such as music and movies lags behind the sales of respective physical goods, and books are no exception during the next few years.