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September 20, 2017

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Nation's e-book industry set to see 'explosive' growth: expert

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Taiwan's e-book industry will enjoy explosive growth over the next three years, said Chang Jung-kuei, general manager with Spring House Entertainment Tech, recently.

The animation expert bases his prediction on the popularity of smart tablet devices, mobile apps and social networks.

"Print publications are on the decline due to the emergence of smartphones and tablet PCs, which have found increasing market acceptance by users," he said.

"It is therefore my prediction that within the next three years, e-books will enjoy explosive growth and see higher sales than traditional books," he added.

Chang is a familiar figure in Taiwan's high-tech industry. His company was responsible for the success of "A-Guei," an animation series that appeared on television and the Internet a decade ago.

The man had his share of rises and falls over the years, seeing his business devastated by the bursting of the dot-com bubble in the 2000s and the decline of the recording industry. Yet Chang learned from these experiences and reinvented Spring House, which is now 56 percent-owned by Chunghwa Telecom, Taiwan's leading operator.

Spring House now runs the Hami Book City app, which has over 1 million users, maintains about 70,000 e-books, and has seen over 6 million downloads since the app went online three years ago.

The company recently launched the "Hami Publisher" tool that facilitates publishers in their publishing processes.

"With Hami Publisher, downloads on Hami Book City are expected to surpass over 10 million by the end of the year, and sales are expected to double," Chang said. "Revenue exceeding NT$100 million is not impossible."

"We're currently talking with 200 publishers, and it is our hope that Hami Publisher will reach Taiwan's 4,000 to 5,000 publishing firms of different sizes," he added.

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