ByteDance Tests New E-Book App in China to Tap into the Online Fiction Market

Garrett_Li

Garrett_...

· 1月5日

ByteDance’s free e-book app Fanqie Novel has acquired a majority market share in the free novel market in China. The app generates revenues by displaying advertisements to its users. Despite its success, the lack of good user experience and original content makes pursuing paid novel platforms a necessary move.

Image: Visual China

BEIJING, January 5, 2022 (TMTPOST) — TikTok’s parent company ByteDance is testing an e-book app in China to tap into the online novel market, according to a news report from Tech Planet.

The app being tested is named Douwen Novel (Douwen Xiaoshuo).

Douwen Novel is reportedly marketed as a clean e-book reader free from pop-up advertisements. It provides high-quality original novels for users to choose from and allows users to customize reading mode by changing the font and background color, etc. Douwen Novel lets users subscribe to a channel for male users or a channel for female users.

The app currently has online fictions in a range of themes, such as fantasy, historic and modern, etc.

Users are required to pay for reading content on Douwen Novel. To read novel chapters, users need to pay with “book coins”, which can be purchased through paying with real money. There is also a monthly subscription plan for users.

Besides Douwen Novel, ByteDance has also rolled out Changdu Novel, Fanyu Novel, Xiaoyao Novel, Jiudu Novel and Changkan Novel. In addition, two e-book apps titled Cuiguo Novel and Bingke Novel, are under development. These six e-book apps share a similar market positioning.

ByteDance’s free e-book app Fanqie Novel has acquired a majority market share in the free novel market in China. The app generates revenues by displaying advertisements to its users. Despite its success, the lack of good user experience and original content makes pursuing paid novel platforms a necessary move.

ByteDance has been investing in its novel business overseas as well since Chinese online fictions have attracted quite a lot of fans overseas. According to statistics from iResearch’s 2020 Chinese Online Literature in Overseas Market Report, overseas readers of Chinese online fiction had reached around 31.93 million, 91% of which would read Chinese online fiction every day.  87.1% of readers are willing to pay for Chinese online fiction. The overseas market is valued at 460 million yuan, according to iResearch’s report.

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