Digital publishing industry in China - Statistics & Facts

Although the digital reading penetration rate has been improving continuously in China, from 24.5 percent in 2008 till more than 68 percent as of 2016, paper books are still the reader's preferred primary reading form. According to Chinese National Reading Survey, the contents of digital reading mainly include “light reading” such as news and online novels, while paper books are mostly “deep reading” of classic literature, professional knowledge, etc. Together, the two forms meet the reading needs of different reader groups.

In 2016, the total digital publishing revenue in china hit 580 billion yuan. Advertising occupies the biggest space within the Chinese digital media market and revenue within this sector is expecting to rise further to 44.6 billion U.S. dollars by 2020. Compared to online advertising and online gaming, digital reading only account for a small part of China’s digital publishing market. Despite its small market share, the number of e-book readers in China was expecting to reach 264.52 million by 2022, increasing from around 214.77 million in 2016.

When it comes to popularity in online book stores, cartoon, comic and picture books ranked first in 2016 with 36 different publications among the top 100 bestsellers. Since online novels became especially popular among China’s young generation, in 2017, the number of internet authors and writers in China increased by more than 30 percent from the previous year. Trending topic chosen by female online book writers is modern and ancient romance while fantasy theme is preferred by male authors.

According to the report on development of China’s media industry, nearly 55 percent of the Chinese new media users had access to news through their mobile news apps. While another 17 percent of them received their daily news feed via social media or PC news website. Only 3.8 percent of news readers still read news via printed media.

Apart from e-Books, digital newspapers and internet advertising, other digital publishing formats in China are blogging applications, online music, online games, mobile publishing, online animation and online education. Digital music industry for example, has also experienced rapid development in the last decade. Number of online music platform users in China increased steadily up to 548 million people in 2017. Mobile music streaming app such as KuGoo Music , QQ Music, Kuwo Music and NetEase Cloud Music has been leading Chinese mobile music market with the most active users. During the second quarter of 2017, KuGoo Music had about 283 million active users in China.

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