Free reading on Baidu might stop. Users currently enjoying free online reading may, in future, have to pay a nominal sum for literary works. Shanda Literature Corp is hoping that Baidu will resolve complaints that it "connives" in copyright violations. Baidu promises to introduce charges for online literature.
Zhu Guang, a senior official of Baidu’s marketing department, said, "We will make efforts to solve the copyright issue."
This is welcome news for Shanda, which owns more than 80% of the country’s online publications, as well as the seven leading original Chinese literature websites.
China.org.cn reports that as a guide to prices, Shanda’s Qidian site charges members RMB.02 (0.3 US cents) per thousand words of popular e-books. Which is a very fair price. But will it stop literature piracy? Experience in other countries suggests that this is not likely.