Baidu, the largest Chinese search engine, acquires 40% of Fanshu.com for RMB over 47.6 million (US$ 7.3 million), a digital publishing platform.

 

Founded in July, 2009 by China’s hardware and IT solution vendor Founder group and search engine Zhongsou.com, Fanshu has been following years of heavy losses with over RMB 21 million in 2010 and over RMB 11 million in first half of 2010. According to an Analysys International analyst, the sale of 40% of equity will do good to the struggling company both in terms of cash flow and traffic.

 

Fanshu.com’s primary businesses include the sales of digital books and its own e-reader Yambook. People who bought Yambook are supposed to purchase copyrighted digital books from Fanshu.com, the website.

Also, as we know Baidu got into big trouble with its own Baidu Wenku, a Slideshare like service due to its loosening in copyright control since everyone gets to upload stuff, even those copyright infringement ones if they so choose. And then came the class action against and harsh criticism over Baidu.

 

After being slapped by the contents providers, Chinese Writers Association and media, Baidu launched the Baidu Wenku Cooperation Platform in late March in an aim to ease the copyright owners as well as pitch to them to get authorized contents. It seems that Fanshu is amongst those who get onboard.