Taiwan, Japan firms form joint venture on digital publications


TAIPEI, Taiwan — Two of Asia’s top publishers, Cite Media Holding Group of Taiwan and Kodansha International of Japan, signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) yesterday on a joint venture to expand their digital publication business in the Asian market.

Cite, Taiwan’s biggest publisher, will have a stake of more than 50 percent in the new company and will be responsible for international production, marketing and sales of digitized content such as novels, magazines and comic books, said Cite CEO Ho Fei-peng at the signing ceremony.

“Paper publications may be limited by country borders, but digital content can be accessed by readers around the world,” Ho said.

The joint venture, with a capital of NT$50 million, will be set up in Taiwan within six months and will focus on the promotion of electronic books in other East Asian countries such as China and Hong Kong, said Yoshinobu Noma, vice president of Kodansha, Japan’s top publisher.

“Taiwan has always been the frontier of communications in the Chinese-language markets,” Noma said at the ceremony. “We hope the power of information technology here and the Taiwan government’s support for e-books will help improve the development of such digital content.”

The output value of Taiwan’s digital publication industry grew last year by 60 percent to NT$46.1 billion, from NT$28 billion in 2009, according to Vice Minister of Economic Affairs Francis Liang.

The Taiwan government expects the figure to approach NT$100 billion by 2013, helping to create 100,000 e-books in the market while drawing 1 million digital readers, Liang said.