Saturday, October 08, 2005

Shanda banks on online reading

SHANDA Networking Co Ltd officially launched its paid online book and cartoon download service during the National Day holidays.

The service offered by the Nasdaq-listed company is different from traditional online library services in that it allows users to browse cartoons, guidebooks and short movies in addition to providing text messages through broadband Internet.

Triworks Computer & Technology (Shanghai) Co Ltd, Shanda's partner, provides a software platform of the service "DigiBook."

On Digibook's Website each 100 points costs 1 yuan (12 US cents). Each book costs between 50 and 200 points. At present, more than 5,000 books are available.

Authors can get 12 to 15 percent of the revenue through cooperation with the Website compared to the traditional 8 percent book authors receive.

People can purchase the prepaid cards via an online payment. These include Shanda's prepaid game cards and bank cards with online payment functions.

"For many young people, their reading habits have changed," said Tang Jun, president of the Shanghai-based Shanda. "They prefer to read more pictures and interactive content. Our multimedia books fit well here."

In July, Shanda teamed up with more than 20 companies on content cooperation. They include Shanghai Animation Film Studio, and

Shanda's revenue jumped 88 percent year-on-year to 539 million yuan (US$66.6 million) in the second quarter.


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