Pinduoduo entered an alliance with leading publishing houses and online bookstores to promote reading and the book industry.
The alliance will carry out research to identify common issues with online book sales and come up with recommendations for industry best practices, according to the company. The coalition will also promote reading in China through charity activities such as donating books to rural communities, it said.
Members of the alliance include Shanghai Century Publishing Group, Knowledge Publishing Group, Dangdang.com, Boku.com, Wenxuan Online and Motie Culture. The partnership was established on the eve of World Intellectual Property Day.
Last month, Pinduoduo announced that it would give out 50 million yuan ($7.7 million) to subsidize more than 1,000 titles in multiple categories such as social sciences, literature and art, and teaching aids, as part of its "Duo Duo Reading Month" campaign to promote reading.
"To most people, reading is personal," said Liu Lixia, Deputy Secretary-General of The Publishers Association of China. "By working with Pinduoduo and publishers, we hope to share the joy of reading with more people and also among friends and family."
Promoting reading goes hand in glove with efforts to crack down on pirated books and protect the intellectual property (IP) of authors and publishing houses. Pinduoduo has stepped up its crackdown on pirated books as it promotes universal reading and knowledge.
Pinduoduo uses algorithms to analyze and spot anomalies. The company has built up a database of illegal merchants, fake IDs and inferior product identification that powers its round-the-clock product monitoring.
This year, World Intellectual Property Day focuses on the critical role of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the economy and how they can use IP rights to build stronger, more competitive and resilient businesses. SMEs face many challenges when it comes to commercializing their IP, including having to overcome a lack of awareness and resources.
As part of its efforts to help the book industry, Pinduoduo is inviting more than a hundred independent writers to become the first batch of residents on the Pinduoduo platform to receive grants as part of its "creators project".
The writers will also receive traffic support and IP protection, and operational advice from Pinduoduo to build their profiles and increase their followers.
Members of the publishing industry and well-known authors welcomed Pinduoduo's efforts in promoting the interests of readers and writers.
Cao Kefan, a cultural figure and a well-known host, pointed out the challenge of keeping book prices low and affordable while safeguarding the interests of authors and publishers. "Pinduoduo's campaign to promote fair-priced, genuine books is needed," Cao said.
Knowledge Publishing House is an example of a book publisher that has benefited from partnering with Pinduoduo. Since setting up an online store on Pinduoduo two years ago, Knowledge Publishing House has sold 1.2 million books and recorded 70 million yuan in cumulative sales.
On April 23, Knowledge Publishing House held a livestreaming session on Pinduoduo. It sold more than 2 million yuan of books in under 4 hours.
With close to 800 million users, Pinduoduo represents a market with huge potential, said Jiang Qinyun, the president of Knowledge Publishing House.