Taiwanese publisher, Cite Media to set up e-book JV with Kodansha

12 February 2011 19 h 23 min 38 comments

Cite Media Holding Group, the Taiwan-based publishing subsidiary of Chinese media company TOM Group Ltd, reportedly plans to set up a joint venture with Kodansha International Ltd, the leading Japanese publisher of comics and high-quality English language books.

Both parties have already inked a letter of intent on cooperation to launch an electronic-book business in China. They plan to translate Japan’s books such as comics and art books into Chinese and convert it into electronic books. The two companies will strive to set up the joint venture in half a year, and will negotiate about the details in the future, according to the source, without giving any further details about the JV.

“The joint venture, with a capital of NT$50 million, will be set up in Taiwan within six months and will focus on the promotion of electronic books in other East Asian countries such as China and Hong Kong”, said Yoshinobu Noma, vice president of Kodansha, Japan’s top publisher. “Cite, Taiwan’s biggest publisher, will have a stake of more than 50 percent in the new company and will be responsible for international production, marketing and sales of digitized content such as novels, magazines and comic books”, said Cite CEO Ho Fei-peng. “Paper publications may be limited by country borders, but digital content can be accessed by readers around the world,” Ho said.

“East Asia is the significant market to Kodansha, and the economic relationships between Taiwan and mainland China is getting closer, Taiwan is likely to be the base to develop e-book business in mainland and Hong Kong”, said Kodansha’s vice president, Yoshinobu Noma.

“We hope the power of information technology here and the Taiwan government’s support for e-books will help improve the development of such digital content.” added Noma.

The output value of Taiwan’s digital publication industry grew last year by 60 percent to NT$46.1 billion, from NT$28 billion in 2009, according to Vice Minister of Economic Affairs Francis Liang. The Taiwan government expects the figure to approach NT$100 billion by 2013, helping to create 100,000 e-books in the market while drawing 1 million digital readers, Liang said.

About Cite Media Holding

Cite Media Holding Group is the leading publisher in Taiwan by sale volume, it has about 30 publishing companies and 30 magazine publishers. Cite Media Holding Group (Cite) publishes 40 magazines in Taiwan, printing more than 20 million issues each year. It also has a catalogue of 15,000 books, adding over 2,000 new titles each year, and printing more than 13 million copies each year. The company has over 1,200 employees and is a division of TOM Group Limited, an associate of Hutchison Whampoa Limited.

SOURCES: HKTDC, China Post (11/02/2011)

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