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.
Mike Cane August 4, 2011 um 2:10 pm
Does it use an eInk screen or non-backlit LCD? Now we can account for eInk sales skyrocketing each year, if so.
Nate Hoffelder August 4, 2011 um 2:12 pm
Mike Cane August 4, 2011 um 8:43 pm
Aha! So several million have been selling in China via various companies.
Nate Hoffelder August 4, 2011 um 8:46 pm
Well, no. The Chinese E-ink e-reader market is supposed to be under a million devices a year.