Kindlepaperwhite

Photo Credit:Amazon China

One year ago Kindle was finally introduced to China. Now the whole Kindle family, including the new Kindle Paperwhite, are available in China.

Amazon China now offers 6,2000 e-books from over 300 partner publishing houses, up from 2,000-ish one year ago, that include exclusive titles, and digital-only titles produced by both traditional publishers and emerging online content platforms. For instance, collections of selected Q&As on Quora-like Chinese site Zhihu.com, travel guides on travel sharing site Qyer.com, and essays on news and opinion site Huxiu.com are available on the Chinese Kindle book store.

Apart from several exclusive titles, other books, from traditional publishers or new online platforms, are on other Chinese e-book platforms, such as Douban Read and Xiaomi’s Duokan, too. Kindle book for China had been late since launch. Local competitors either offer well-designed e-books — like what Tangcha has been working on, or different content — Duokan offers digital-only literature titles produced by authors on online publishing platforms like Shanda’s Cloudary.

Online reading and, more recently, mobile reading have been widely consumed in China. The China mobile reading market in 2012 was about RMB 5.6 billion ($900-ish million), with a 30% growth, Amazon China introduced citing research results from Imedia Research Group. Of the 290 million Chinese mobile reading users, 67% read e-books or online literature, 59% read online news and 29% read blogs or articles on online forums. Amazon China found that the top two categories Chinese Kindle book readers purchased are literature and economics books.

Kindle devices are what Amazon can differentiate from all those competitors. For Chinese users, Kindle includes Chinese fonts and dictionaries for better reading experience. Few e-reading devices manufactured by local companies are popular in China while there is a considerable number of core fans of Kindle in China.

Most of Kindle books in Chinese are priced at or below RMB 4.99 (about $0.8). Amazon China believes such low prices give piracy little room to prevail. Amazon China didn’t disclose sales of Kindle devices or books at the celebration event today.

Kurt Beidler, vice president of Amazon China, said the Kindle business in China had turned profitable. (via Sina Tech) But he didn’t disclose how Amazon China recorded the costs of Kindle devices and licensed fees paid to publishers.