Digital reading market size in China 2016-2019

With a market size of almost 29 billion yuan in 2018, the digital reading sector was a mere fraction in Chinese digital publishing industry. That year, the digital publishing business in China raked in over 830 billion yuan of revenue and was projected to expand steadily in the next couple of years.

Significant revenue generators

Of the overall digital reading revenue earned in 2018, a major chunk was contributed by subscriptions while copyrights accounted for about 11.1 percent of the earnings. Literature has been the most popular e-Book genre among Chinese readers. Some of the prominent online literature companies included Tencent-backed China Literature (Yuewan), Zhangyue, and Shuqi.

China’s e-readership

Digital reading market in China cannot boast of being as large as other online sectors like video and gaming. Yet, the nation houses about 455 million online readers, with more than 24 million literary works available on the internet in 2018. More and more internet authors and writers have also emerged within this market over the years, grossing over 8.7 million in 2018. With the coronavirus pandemic having restricted people to their homes, the frequency of online reading as a pastime has increased. It remains to be seen if the trend continues to grow in the days after the pandemic.

Market size of digital reading in China from 2016 to 2019

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Release date

April 2020



Survey time period

2016 to 2019

Supplementary notes

Note: 1 yuan equals approximately 0.14 U.S. dollars and 0.13 euros (as of June 2020).

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Statistics on "Media in China"

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