Pinduoduo is promoting more than 30 publishers on its platform to boost online sales of more than 1,000 titles as part of its “Duo Duo Reading Month” campaign to promote reading.
Consumers can search “Duo Duo Reading Month” on the Pinduoduo app to be directed to the campaign page, where classic titles including "Moby Dick", "Six Records of Floating Life" and "Notre Dame de Paris" can be bought at a discount. Famous historians and well-known writers will join livestreaming sessions on the platform to recommend books to readers.
"We found that the platform’s users have a strong demand for knowledge consumption,” said a Pinduoduo spokesman in a statement. The sales growth of books in third- and fourth-tier cities and rural areas have exceeded that of the first-tier cities, he noted.
According to China Daily, the number of Chinese readers increased by nearly 30 million people in 2018, and the majority of these readers were born in the 1990s and 2000s. The Covid-19 pandemic has further accelerated the shift to online book sales, as physical bookstores were closed during the lockdown periods.
Pinduoduo has so far introduced more than 2,700 publishers and book vendors to its platform, helping them access a wider, digital-native audience. One book vendor, bookuu.com, saw its sales on Pinduoduo rise seven-fold in 2020, driven mainly by users in lower-tier cities.
Livestreaming is also being used to boost sales online. Renowned Chinese writers such as Hao Jingfang, Shen Shixi and Yang Hongzhuo participated in livestreaming sessions organized by publishers or vendors to recommend books.
The Knowledge Press, a publishing house, organized 667 livestreaming sessions, attracting more than 13.28 million cumulative views.
While promoting reading, Pinduoduo is also stepping up the fight against book piracy. The platform has deployed technology to screen for non-compliant merchants and weed out counterfeit books.
Pinduoduo has signed agreements on intellectual property protection with several anti-piracy alliances and other IP protection organizations in China. Last October, it signed a memorandum of cooperation with the British China Business Council (CBBC), which has over 400 members, including Oxford University Press and the British Library, to strengthen cooperation on IP.
"We hope to further promote in-depth cooperation with publishers and well-known authors through the Duo Duo Reading Month to bring more quality, affordable and genuine books to consumers," said the Pinduoduo spokesman.