Outlook for Electronic Books in China Appears Bright–Once Big Hurdles are Cleared

As makers of electronic-book readers jockey for position in the U.S., Japan and Europe, a similar but more challenging effort is unfolding in China.

World-wide, about four million electronic-book reading devices were sold last year. The number is expected to jump to 12 million in 2010 and 18 million in 2012, predicts the U.S.-based market intelligence firm iSuppli Corp.

China is forecast to see e-reader sales jump from 800,000 in 2009 to three million in 2010, making up of 20% of the global market, according to a recent report by research firm DisplaySearch. The company goes on to forecast that China will surpass the U.S. to become the world’s largest e-reader market before 2015, by virtue of its large population.

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