Here Are the Top Reads From China’s $5 Billion Online Literature Market

From romances and period dramas to coming-of-age tales and martial arts epics, here are the stories that hooked China’s e-bookworms in 2020.

A major consulting firm has released a report on China’s online literature industry, shedding light on current trends in the booming billion-dollar market.

The report, published Wednesday by Guangzhou-based iiMedia Research Group, said that last year, China’s online literature industry was worth 37.2 billion yuan ($5.75 billion), and is expected to reach 41.6 billion yuan this year. The report also said that, as writers born after 1995 have joined the fray, the market has become more diversified in terms of genres and writing styles.

In recent years, Chinese online literature has seen growing fan bases among not only domestic readers, but also those abroad, particularly the West. Some foreigners eagerly devour English versions of Chinese martial arts epics published through online platforms such as WuxiaWorld.

Zhang Yi, the CEO and chief analyst at iiMedia, told Sixth Tone that China’s online literature market grew last year alongside an evolving domestic understanding of intellectual property.

“Some leading platforms, such as China Literature, have more mature approaches toward commercialization and applying IP,” he said. “The IP market in TV, film, stage performances, and other mediums is becoming relatively more mature and open, while online literature platforms have better operations and clearer market strategies.”

Included in iiMedia’s report is a list of the past year’s top authors. What kinds of stories are they telling, and what does this say about the tastes of China’s readers? Here’s our overview of some of the most interesting and popular series by iiMedia’s top-ranked authors. Continue to read the full article here



– This article was written by Cai Xuejiao and Chen Qi’an. It originally appeared on Sixth Tone