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.

 

Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader: He's here to chew bubble gum and fix broken websites, and he is all out of bubble gum. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills at the drop of a hat. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.

4 Comments

  1. Mike Cane4 August, 2011

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

    Reply
    1. Nate Hoffelder4 August, 2011

      E-ink

      Reply
      1. Mike Cane4 August, 2011

        Aha! So several million have been selling in China via various companies.

        Reply
        1. Nate Hoffelder4 August, 2011

          Well, no. The Chinese E-ink e-reader market is supposed to be under a million devices a year.

          Reply

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