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The Chinese e-commerce site Dangdang (NYSE:DANG) is set to follow in the footsteps of Amazon (NSDQ: AMZN) (NASDAQ:AMZN) and its Kindle when…

Amazon Kindle Touch
photo: Amazon

The Chinese e-commerce site Dangdang (NYSE:DANG) is set to follow in the footsteps of Amazon (NSDQ: AMZN) (NASDAQ:AMZN) and its Kindle when it launches it own e-book platform later this month.

This was confirmed by Dangdang’s VP, Yi Wen-fei, who said that there are already 50,000 digital books ready to be bought and downloaded on launch day, from over 100 different publishers. Dangdang’s digital books can be read on its own apps for iOS and Android, which are believed to be launching soon, and on its own-brand e-reader which should appear in the first quarter of 2012.

Dangdang started out selling books upon its launch in 2001, and then it diversified into home electronics and gadgets in 2004. It already has strong competition in terms of selling paper books online, with its younger but larger rival, 360Buy also doing so, plus more recent competition from Suning’s (SHE:002024) new online bookstore.

But in terms of e-books, Dangdang’s competitors are a whole other bunch of folks. Looking at the graph below, we see China’s e-book market in Q3 2011. The market leader is Hanvon – which made a move into the US market this year – which makes a host of e-reader and tablet devices. In second place is Shanda (NSDQ: SNDA) (NASDAQ:SNDA), the game and book publisher, with its Bambook:

Dangdang’s e-book platform will be a huge boot up the badonkadonk to those two, who effectively have a duopoly on the digital publishing market to consumers in China.

E-books have had a fairly slow and rocky path to the mainstream in China, with Baidu’s (NASDAQ:BIDU) own book portal, Wenku, causing a storm of controversy among writers for initially not recompensing them. That got rectified with a revenue sharing system that was put in place in May.

Talking of rev share, Dangdang will take 40 percent on its upcoming e-book platform, and the publishers will get 60 percent.

[Sources: 163 news; and QQ Tech news - articles in Chinese]

» This article originally appeared on Penn Olson, Asia Tech News For The World, and is reproduced here with permission.

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This article originally appeared in Penn Olson.

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