China's E-Book Market Heats Up

| About: E-Commerce China (DANG)

The growing Chinese e-book market may be about to get a heaping helping of disruption. Dangdang (NYSE:DANG) has confirmed that it will launch its own e-book platform in December, threatening the duopoly of Hanvon and Shanda (NASDAQ:SNDA).

Known as “the Amazon of China,” Dangdang promises to offer 50,000 digital books from 100 different publishers on launch day. It will offer iOS and Android reading apps, and will launch its own e-reader in early 2012.

Hanvon -- not traded here -- and Shanda currently dominate the Chinese e-book market, with 59.6% and 19.6% of market share in Q3 2011.

The Chinese Academy of Press and Publications estimates at least 600 million e-books read in China in 2010, making the market second only to the United States.

Analysts Fawne Jiang and Long Lin of Brean Murray, Carret & Co. report that Baidu (NASDAQ:BIDU) is also getting into the act, spinning off their affiliated bookstore as “Baidu Reading,” an independent e-book platform. Baidu Reading has entered into partnerships with 84 copyright owners and offers a highly customizable client.

360buy is also rumored to have an e-book program in the works.