Wed, Sep 30, 2009 - Page 12 News List

Alliance aims to give Taiwan the edge in e-books

JOINING FORCES The E-book Strategic Alliance is tasked with using Taiwan’s status as a leader in the Mandarin publishing sector within the electronic arena


The government yesterday introduced the E-book Strategic Alliance, which aims to standardize the nation’s e-book business models, service platforms and content formats in a bid to give Taiwan a leading position in the global Mandarin digital publishing industry.

“The government is emphasizing the promotion of the digital content industry, and the digital publishing segment, including e-books, will receive extra attention,” said Frank Hsu (許清琦), director of the Ministry of Economic Affairs’ Digital Content Industry Promotion Office.

The ministry has teamed up with a number of local research institutions, publishing houses, telecoms providers, educational institutions and manufacturers of e-book readers to help the country cash in on the relatively new e-book market.

The alliance includes the Institute for the Information Industry (資策會), Cite Media Holding Group (城邦媒體), Chunghwa Telecom Co (中華電信), Netronix Inc (振曜科技) and National Tsing Hua University.

As e-book readers have picked up momentum globally, driven by Inc’s Kindle and Sony Corp’s e-readers, the alliance said it hoped to capitalize on Taiwan’s status as the world’s Mandarin publishing powerhouse.

By 2013, the alliance aims to increase Taiwan’s digital publishing output value to NT$100 billion (US$3.1 billion) by nurturing two to three Mandarin e-book content trading houses and pushing 100,000 Mandarin e-books into the market.

Although the government last month earmarked NT$2.13 billion to promote the local digital publishing industry, market veterans said Taiwan had to pick up the pace to compete with South Korea and China, which support their domestic e-book industries with strong government backing.

“Taiwan’s hardware makers have already secured a strong grip with e-book reader manufacturing, but we are still trying to sort out business models and which platforms and services to use,” said Jean Chen (陳昭靜), a researcher at Topology Research Institute (拓墣產業研究所).

Rachel Lee (李瑞琴), vice president of Cite Media, one of the nation’s major publishing houses with more than 50 magazine titles, holds a similar view.

“In this era, what matters most is not content, but service and platforms,” Lee said.

Currently, there are many service providers trying to offer disparate e-book solutions, she said.

Examining successful overseas business models and the formation of the E-book Strategic Alliance will help push the local industry to the next level, she said.

This story has been viewed 2619 times.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top