Shanda Interactive Entertainment has made games such as “Home Valley,” “Mir II,” and the “World of Legend” into Internet sensations in the Chinese online games market. Now it’s expanding into publishing reader-generated books.
Shanda Literature sounds a little pretentious. It might be hard to believe that readers can generate “literary works,” as Shanda calls them. But the company has been doing this with separate web sites for a while and it’s already a big business.
Shanda operates Qidian.com, jjwxc.com and hongxiu.com. Its new Shanda Literature division will be headed by Xiaoqiang Hou. Qidian.com is the largest Chinese online literature platform with more than 20 million registered accounts and daily traffic of 220 million page views. You saw that number right. Daily page views. I suppose if readers can create fan fiction for sites such as StarWars.com or original Harry Potter fiction, then it makes sense that similar reader-driven sites can take off in China.
Shanda acquired that site in 2004. In 2007, Shanda bought jjwxc.com, a literature platform that focuses on female readers with 700,000 registered accounts. In March, Shanda bought Hongxiu.com, a literature platform with 1.8 million registered accounts.
Chen Tianqiao, chairman of Shanda, said that the new division moves Shanda closer to its goal of becoming a leader in interactive entertainment media of all kinds. He also said that the user-generated books could lead to new storylines for Shanda’s games. Founded in 1999, Shanda scored a big hit with Home Valley, a virtual community for gamers. It expanded over the years and now has more than 600 million registered users.