PaidContent reports that, after seeing a great deal of growth in 2010 (especially in the 4th quarter), e-reader sales in China have fallen off considerably for two of the last three quarters according to Analysys International’s Enfodesk. The third quarter of 2010 saw a growth rate of 9.9% and the fourth saw 20.1%, but the first quarter of 2011 showed a 4.2% decline, followed by 2.2% growth and another 5.1% decline in subsequent quarters.

Enfodesk places the blame on problems at Chinese e-reader maker Hanvon, and suggests one of the major causes is a lack of content for e-readers in China. And PaidContent points out that the amount of unit sales in China is extremely small considering its huge population.

Though mobile is exploding in China, the e-reader market so far is relatively tiny for such a large country – compare the 295,200 devices sold in Q3 with the one million Kindles (NSDQ: AMZN) says it is selling weekly.

It’s kind of the same chicken-or-the-egg situation that Japan has seen with its e-book market; until relatively recently, the EPUB standard didn’t make it easy to create e-books in ideograph-based languages. I expect it will take some time for e-content providers (such as Dangdang) to catch up in those parts of the world.


The TeleRead community values your civil and thoughtful comments. We use a cache, so expect a delay. Problems? E-mail