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The unstoppable trend of online reading in China

Internet novelists have dominated the top ten list of China’s richest writers for several years. The tremendous changes brought by online novels can also be observed in the entertainment and gaming industries. CCTV reporter talks to two top online writers.

Over the past few years, more and more popular TV series in China have been adapted from Internet novels.

Wang Pei is one of the Internet authors who publish their stories online. Wang earned her fame with the story of a girl struggling for love, recognition and victory in a large family.

“Most of my readers are young girls who love to read these kinds of stories that can satisfy their desires for being an independent, strong and popular woman. But when they grow older, my stories have to grow with them,” said Wang.

The hundreds of thousands of readers Wang Pei attracts online give her greater opportunities in real life. Gao Qunshu, one of China’s most famous directors, reached out to Wang for an adaptation of her novel.

“In comparison to traditional novels, Internet ones are more suitable for adaptations, because they have to be alluring, commercial and entertaining in the first place to survive. I personally also like to read online novels,” said Gao.

Apart from the love stories girls love to read, male readers prefer novels with more excitement, adrenalin and imagination.

Just getting off a plane, Yaoye can’t wait to upload the new chapter of his novel. His readers, mostly middle school boys will immediately get an alert on their phones.

Yaoye ranked 12th in last year’s list of China’s richest Internet writers with over one billion online clicks and an annual copyright income of over $2 million.

For a top writer like him, the business model is totally different.

“It is highly customized. First we publish real books in regions like Taiwan, then post them on websites in the Chinese mainland and launch games when the novel becomes popular. For instance, today I flew to Beijing for a web game cooperation agreement. I’m the chief architect of the game,” said Internet novelist Yaoye.

Yaoye said Internet novel platforms like China Mobile’s MIGU will also help authors expand their value chain.

But he admits that he has to write for 10 hours per day, so he is trying to make as much money as he can before getting too old for this job.