Source:The Bookseller. .5573 (Apr. 26, 2013): p10.
Copyright:COPYRIGHT 2013 The Bookseller Media Group (Bookseller Media Ltd.) http://www.thebookseller.com Full Text:
A price war last week between two of China's biggest online booksellers resulted in tens of thousands of in-copyright e-books being available to download for free.
From 17th-19th April, DangDang.com offered almost all its 80,000 e-books on site for free, while its fierce rival Jingdong Mall matched the offer with its 50,000 e-books.
A DangDang spokesman told China.org.cn, the Chinese government's official English language news portal, that it was doing the promotion "because we want to draw more people into reading books, especially copyrighted e-books". The spokesman also said DangDang would be offering 50% off printed books, to "celebrate the upcoming World Reading Day".
The spokesman, however, declined to confirm whether DangDang had received permission from rights-holders to put the titles on sale for free.
Many in Chinese publishing decried the move. Zhao Chen, publisher at People's Literature Publishing House, told Beijing News that the promotion "will bring harm to companies".
DangDang claims to be China's biggest specialist online bookseller. For its full year 2012 results, released in March this year, it had sales of RMB5,193.8m ($833.7m), a 44% increase from the corresponding period in