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China's digital reading market grows 21.8 pct in 2020

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HANGZHOU, April 17 (Xinhua) — The value of China’s digital reading market reached 35.2 billion yuan (about 5.4 billion U.S. dollars) last year, up 21.8 percent year on year, according to an industry report published on Friday.

The number of e-readers in China also rose 5.56 percent year on year to 494 million in 2020, according to the report released by China Audio-Video and Digital Publishing Association at the 7th China Digital Reading Conference in the eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou.

The report polled 20,326 respondents with a habit of reading or listening to audiobooks in 209 cities and found that the average per capita reading of e-books and audiobooks was 9.1 and 6.3 publications, respectively.

At the same time, each respondent read an average of 6.2 printed publications in 2020, 2.6 publications less than the previous year.

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More readers are willing to pay for quality content online. About 26.8 percent of paying e-readers spent an average of 100 yuan or more per month on e-reading.

The COVID-19 outbreak and the commercialization of 5G have accelerated the transformation of reading from digitalization to intelligentization.

According to the report, new technologies such as artificial intelligence, virtual reality and augmented reality have expanded the coverage of digital reading in cloud libraries and cloud bookstores. Meanwhile, cloud services and the Internet of Things in the field of digital reading have entered the fast track of development.

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