By Wuping Zhao
SHANGHAI: Mr. Jung-Wen Wang, president of Yuan-liou Publishing company, is not the only publisher to embrace the e-reader market in Taiwan. However, he is leading the way by providing the market with a unique Yuan-Liou Jin Yong Reader, which comes pre-loaded the complete works of Jin Yong (Louis Cha), the most popular kung fu novelist among the Chinese readership. Mr. Jin is currently the bestselling Chinese author alive; over 100 million copies of his 15 novels have been sold worldwide.
On the eve of Computex Taipei — the largest computer trade fair in Asia, open from June 1 to 5 — Mr.Wang’s company and computer maker ViewSonic announced that their e-reader, the Yuan-Liou Jin Yong Reader, will be launched in Taipei later this month. This means ViewSonic and other Taiwanese manufacturers are breaking the market monopoly of BenQ Corp, the local electronic manufacturer which launched the first e-reader in Taiwan in January, 2010. Prior to ViewSonic’s effort, another Taiwanese notebook pioneer Asustek Computer Inc. also launched its e-reader named DR-900 in March.
According to Economic Daily News, published in Taipei, local computer manufacturers are optimistic about the future of e-reader market in Taiwan, and even in the Great China Area, which refers to China, Taiwan, Hongkong, Macao and other Chinese resided areas. ViewSonic claims it will sell 100,000 unites of its four e-readers (prices vary from NT$6990 to $14,800, about US$217 to $460) in the first 12 months. And BenQ announced that sales of its nReader, priced at NT$8990 (US$280), would reach to 50,000.
However, not all observers are optimistic about the e-reader market in Taiwan. Dickie Chang, senior market analyst at International Data Corp (IDC) Taiwan, believes it is still early to say a mature market is emerging. “The local sale of e-readers probably about less than 1,000 each month, and total sales might between 8,000 to 10,000 in a year,” Chang says.