Shanda Interactive (SNDA.NASDAQ) has taken a controlling stake in Chinese online literature website ReadNovel.com. Hou Xiaoqiang, Shanda’s CEO, said that the company’s literature division, Shanda Literature, will make additional future acquisitions, but will not interfere in ReadNovel.com’s operations. Shanda did not disclose a price for the deal.
Since it was established in 2004, ReadNovel.com has become one of the largest online literature sites in China, receiving an average of 60 million daily visits from two million unique users. Shanda Literature is the dominant force in China’s online-reading market, with a 90% share. It currently operates online literature platforms qidian.com, hongxiu.com, jjwxc.net, and in December announced an investment in literature site rongshuxia.com.
Shanda officials have said the company plans on using its user-generated literary works as a source of additional content for its online games division. By doing this and developing social networking functions, Shanda may be able to create a unique experience across its media platforms that will enable the company to become an advanced online copyright trader. This would give it significant advantages over its online gaming competitor Netease (NTES.NASDAQ), and may allow it to start stealing business from the traditional publishing media.