Suning Opens E-Bookstore, Promises 250,000+ E-Book Titles by Next Year

Chinese consumers already have plenty of options when it comes to buying e-books, and now there’s yet another e-bookstore to choose from. The brick-and-mortar electronics retailer Suning (SHE:002024) opened its own offering last week, saying that it has teamed up with nearly 1,000 publishers to launch with 50,000 e-books ready for download. As part of Suning’s aggressive push into e-commerce, its new portal aims to have over 250,000 titles by the end of 2013.

The new Suning e-bookstore (see it here) will sell its virtual books at 30 percent of the price of the paper versions. It’ll be up against similar services from China’s top e-commerce site, Tmall, and it signals a new threat to local rival Dangdang (NYSE:DANG), which not only has an e-bookstore but also its own e-reader hardware.

Suning’s e-books can be read on its new e-reader app for Android, with versions for iOS and PC currently in the works.

The company also revealed that it plans to open up the e-bookstore, eventually, to user-uploaded content, making it more like Baidu’s Wenku portal, which offers a mix of free and paid e-book downloads.

With Amazon’s Kindle hardware and platform not launched in China, the local e-book market is made up of a mix of hardware from numerous vendors and multiple download sources. Perhaps the earliest cohesive platform in the country is Shanda’s e-bookstore, which ties to its Bambook e-reader.

[Source: Marbridge Daily]

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