The number of overseas readers of Chinese online literary works has exceeded 31.9 million, according to a recent report on the overseas presence of the Chinese online literature by iResearch, a market research company.
The report said the overseas market value of Chinese online literature has hit 460 million yuan (roughly $67.5 million).
A screenshot of Webnovel
According to Webnovel, an online literature platform featuring English novels under China Literature, the country’s leading online publisher owned by Tencent, over 40,000 comments on novels by foreign readers appear on the platform each day.
Established in 2017, Webnovel has uploaded over 900 translated Chinese literary works, attracting more than 70 million visitors to its site.
Thanks to the country’s push to help Chinese culture go overseas, many Chinese online literature companies have been boosting overseas efforts in recent years through publishing authorization and the establishment of online platforms.
With the number of overseas readers increasing significantly, in 2020 new overseas readers grew by more than 73.7 percent from a year ago, according to the report.
Ninety-one percent of overseas readers read Chinese online literary works almost every day, reaching an average daily reading time of 117 minutes, the report said, noting that 87.1 percent of overseas readers are willing to pay to read these works.
Many overseas readers even write online novels by imitating Chinese internet literary works. Logan, a young man living in the U.S. state of Texas, is a big fan of China’s online literature. Inspired by Chinese online literary works, such as Battle Through the Heavens, he began to write his own online novels.
“I draw inspiration from Chinese online novels. Classic Chinese literary works, including Journey to the West, are also the inspiration of some of the characters in my novels,” he said.
“Human beings love stories, and some values of heroes in stories are shared by people around the world,” an executive of China Literature said, adding that heart-warming stories with aspiring characters and Chinese traditional cultural elements are attractive to overseas readers.
Meanwhile, film and television series, like Ashes of Love adapted from Chinese online literary works, have won awards abroad, helping China’s online literature reach a broader base of overseas audiences.