Xiaomi Launches eBookstore in China – Will Soon Prove Serious Threat to Amazon

Amazon is413769706555212e79f447c4[1] getting a new competitor in China today, and it's one that cribs from Amazon's own playbook.The Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi has launched a new ebookstore and pay-as-you-go reading app. The ebookstore is integrated into MIUI, Xiaomi's forked Android firmware, and as developed by Duokan, the ebook/AppleTV developer that Xiaomi acquired last year.

It's not clear how many titles are in the catalog, but we do know that Xiaomi is using a rather unusual sales model. Rather than simply sell the ebooks, Xiaomi charges readers .03 yuan for every thousand characters read, with the revenue evenly split between Xiaomi and the content provider. That is far closer to a Spotify model than a typical ebookstore, and at this point there's no way to tell that it will generate enough revenue for the authors.

Xiaomi is not a major player outside of China, but when it comes to that market they present a serious threat to Amazon. This 3 year old company now has a valuation of over $10 billion and recently snagged Google’s VP for Android, Hugo Barra, who was likely hired to oversee Xiaomi's international expansion.


In China Xiaomi is known for selling high end smartphones with specs comparable to Samsung's Galaxy smartphones but only charging about half the price. Like Amazon, Xiaomi makes their profit not from hardware but when users buy apps and other content.

Back in September 2013 Xiaomi boasted of selling 7 million smartphones in the first half of 2013. They generated revenues of over $2 billion from content and hardware sales in that period, or about what Xiaomi reported earning for all of 2012.

I'm keeping a list of potential movers and shakers in the international ebook market, and Xiaomi is going on it. This is a company to watch.

TenCent Tech

About Nate Hoffelder (10601 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."

3 Comments on Xiaomi Launches eBookstore in China – Will Soon Prove Serious Threat to Amazon

  1. “..Back in September 2013 Xiaomi reported that they had 2.7 million users. .. also boasted of selling 7 million smartphones in the first half of 2013. ”

    Does that mean 2.7 million of the 7++ million Xiomi smartphone buyers signed up for the ebookstore? On the linked article, the 2.7 million refers to its Facebook fans.

  2. So how do you get a book on this eReader? I know from teaching in China that lots of parents are looking for English books for their kids. These are hard to find in mainland China, especially the further you get from the coasts. I’d be tempted to come out with short English books for school children if I could get them in front of that huge audience.

2 Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Une librairie en ligne chinoise conçue par le chinois Xiaomi
  2. Bookbaby Looks East – Why Indie Authors Should Too. | Ebook Bargains UK Blog

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.


%d bloggers like this: