It's all about survival in e-book industry

09:28, October 14, 2010      

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Survival of the fittest - the theory that the best-suited mutations will become dominant — may decide the fate of some companies in China's crowded e-book industry after the government recently kicked in new regulations aiming to limit new players.

A visitor checks out an e-book during an IT exhibition. E-book prices could drop to below 500 yuan ($74.3) in the fourth quarter, according to Zero2IPO Research. Shanda Literature's Bambook is the cheapest e-book sold in China at 999 yuan ($148.6) each. Photo: CFP

  The new rules, designed to secure the long-term development of the industry, will give momentum to dominant firms, while potentially spelling bad news for smaller rivals, said Liu Liang, an analyst with Beijing-based iResearch.

  One true survivor in the saturated sector is e-book technology company, Hanvon Technology Co.

  "The market is currently in chaos, so the new regulations are definitely good news for us," Liu Yingjian, chairman of Hanvon, told reporters in Beijing Wednesday.

  China's top press watchdog, the General Administration of Press and Publication, said the newly launched e-book market admittance system will basically regulate who gets to in and who doesn't, according to a statement on the agency's web-site Sunday.

  In the third quarter, Hanvon enjoyed a 69.07 percent share of the Chinese e-book reader market by sales volume, accord-ing to research firm Analysys International.

  Hanvon has already won approval from the General Administration of Press and Publication as one of the limited qualified players in the market, according to Liu.

  E-books are, as defined by the General Administration of Press and Publications in the new guidelines, digital publications in the form of print, images, audio and video, which are embedded or downloaded into handheld devices like e-readers, tablet PCs or smart phones.

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