Chinese search giant Baidu just bought an e-reader maker

The Sina Tech news blog reported earlier today  that Baidu, China's home-grown version of Google, now own about 40% of Fan Shu, maker of the Yambook ebook reader. Details haven't been confirmed, but the deal is reportedly worth 47.6 million yuan ($7.4 million USB).

Fan Shu have a number of different Yambook models on the Chinese market, with specs ranging from Wifi to 3G. They also have their own ebookstore as well as a PC and Android reading apps. The Baidu deal would value Fan Shu at 120 million yuan.

IMO this rumor is very likely true. A couple weeks ago Baidu signed a distribution agreement with a number of Chinese publishers that gave Baidu the right to sell their ebooks. The deal legitimized Baidu's Wenku  books portal, which had previously been accused of wide-spread piracy.

Baidu are clearly making a push into ebooks. Buying Fan Shu would be a good way to bring the new content to market in the minimum time.


About Nate Hoffelder (11474 Articles)
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader: "I've been into reading ebooks since forever, but I only got my first ereader in July 2007. Everything quickly spiraled out of control from there. Before I started this blog in January 2010 I covered ebooks, ebook readers, and digital publishing for about 2 years as a part of MobileRead Forums. It's a great community, and being a member is a joy. But I thought I could make something out of how I covered the news for MobileRead, so I started this blog."

4 Comments on Chinese search giant Baidu just bought an e-reader maker

  1. Does it use an eInk screen or non-backlit LCD? Now we can account for eInk sales skyrocketing each year, if so.

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