Social video sharing revolutionising book sales for Chinese publishers

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The post-pandemic recovery is pushing China’s tech-savvy population – 885 million digital consumers – even further online, not only for shopping, but also for entertainment, reading and learning.

Six major social video sharing platforms, drove 90% of online book sales transactions in China in 2021, according to New Media for Publishing research report. One popular platform, WeChat, has seen book sales grow by 800% in 6 years. These book sales opportunities have been driven through the 1,800 accounts created by 583 Chinese publishers.

In China, Douyin (the Chinese version of TikTok) and other short video platforms are growing into the most important social commerce platforms, bypassing the traditional physical retail stores and now even more established e-commerce platforms in China. The Chinese digital first national policy, the rapid growth of social media platforms and the tech-savvy consumers are three key factors contributing to this shift, according to the New Media for Publishing, a research report jointly published by Phoenix Publishing and Media Inc, one of the largest publishing groups in China, and NewRank.cn, a company specialising in monitoring new media data based in Shanghai, China.

In 2020, online book sales accounts for nearly 80% of the Chinese market and 80% of users obtain book-related content directly through social or short video new media platforms.

Research suggests that short video sharing apps such as TikTok and Kwai are used extensively for online sales – even in the sophisticated areas of cultural consumption. During the Chinese TikTok – Douyin Reading Festival in April 2021, the daily average number of book sales on the platform has reached 500,000. Another Chinese social video app Kwai’s educational book content sales value (GMV) has increased by 317% year-on-year as of June 2021.
-Alicia Liu

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