Hong Kong is Eager to Follow the Fashion of Mobile Reading

In Global Trade Talk by Wuping Zhao

By Wuping Zhao

Reading e-books on Kindle-like e-readers is out of fashion, according to various reports from the 21st Hong Kong Book Fair which was held from 21st to 27th July, 2010. Mobile is the new e-reading platform of choice.

Like the Paris Salon du Livre, the annual Hong Kong Book Fair is mainly for the local public to buy books at the site. The Fair reported that it attracted more than 900,000 visitors in the past week. And it is the first year that the Fair arranged a special “E-book and Digital Publishing” zone for more than 20 trade publishers and technology companies. Besides Hanvon Technology’s latest version of its N 618 e-reader, major local publishers like Sino United Publishing, Ming-Pao Publications and Cosmos Books also displayed their list of e-books both for hand-held readers similar to Kindle and iPhone or iPad.

Although the book market is a small in Hong Kong, local publishers are actively joining the trend of digital publishing, and many of them show great interest in bringing out e-books for smart phone users. Ming-Pao Publication has been promoted its e-book list of 120 titles since December and it hopes to cooperate with Hong Kong mobile companies in the near future. And the leading e-reader manufacturer Hanovn reached agreement with five Hong Kong publishers at the fair.

As an international finance center and the former British colonial city, Hong Kong used to be the bridge between mainland China and Taiwan. However, the local people are unfortunately well known for consuming few books. 30% of its population did not read a single book in the past year, according to a latest survey in June. Among the 500 citizens polled, 30% claimed they do not have enough time to read, and 10% complained books are too expensive in Hong Kong.

About the Author

Wuping Zhao

Wuping Zhao is the vice president for Shanghai Translation Publishing House. He joined Shanghai Century Publishing Group in 2001 and acquired many literary authors including T.S. Eliot, Jorge Luis Borges, Vladimir Nabokov, Boris Pasternak, Jack Kerouac, Simone de Beauvoir, Marguerite Duras, Milan Kundera, Umberto Eco, Mario Vargas Llosa, Elfriede Jelinek and Bernhard Schlink. He graduated from Columbia Publishing Course in 2009. Prior to his publishing career, he spent seven years as a book reporter at China Reading Weekly in Beijing.