You’re not alone. A recent survey in China shows that many Chinese readers still have not bought e-books.
The survey, which was conducted by OpenBook Co., found that just one in every four Chinese residents have paid for an e-book, the same ratio it found in 2010 when the survey was last conducted, according to Xinhua, an online Chinese news magazine. More than 8,000 people took the survey.
The digital divide may be growing even bigger in China. From the article:
“Of the 3,561 respondents polled at bookstores this year, seven times more people have never paid for an e-book than those who have, a proportion even higher than that in 2010.”
As it happens, though, more Chinese are shopping online today; 21.2 percent of the survey’s respondents said their book purchases are primary completed online, which is up from 10 percent in 2010.
The results of this survey may actually change in coming months—or years. Amazon’s Kindle Paperwhite and Kindle Fire HD were launched in China last month, which will likely lead to the sales of more e-books.
“Although a large number of domestic readers are not used to paying for e-books, growing demand and the guidance of relevant policies and regulations will help foster the habit,” said Yu Dianli, general manager of Commercial Press, a major Chinese publishing house, in an interview last month with Xinhua.
As for China’s major e-book roadblock at this point, that would probably involve getting the Kindle into people’s hands. The prices start at 849 yuan (USD $138) for the Kindle Paperwhite, which is just $119 in the United States. The Kindle Fire HD, meanwhile, costs 1,499 yuan ($244) for the 16GB edition and 1,799 yuan ($293) for 32GB edition in China.