Penguin and Founder Apabi sign e-book agreement in China

Beijing, London, 21st April 2009: Penguin, the international publishing company, announced today an agreement with Beijing-based Founder Apabi Group to make its front and backlist of English publishing available in e-book form to readers in China.

Penguin's full range of e-book titles from the UK and Dorling Kindersley, which today stands at more than 2,000 titles, will be made available in Apabi's proprietary CEB format.  Penguin is the first international publisher to sign such an agreement in this major market.

Starting May 2009, Penguin's best-selling titles will be available in English for download to Chinese readers, including a wide range of fiction, non-fiction, classics, children's, lifestyle, and travel books. 

Presently, China's e-book market is primarily focused on libraries and academic collections, with a small but rapidly growing consumer e-book market. Founder Apabi occupies an estimated 80% share of this market, with more than 500,000 e-book titles in its database, taken from more than 500 Chinese publishers. The Chinese e-book market in 2008 was estimated to be worth RMB200 million.

John Makinson, Chairman and CEO of Penguin Group, comments: "We are excited to be signing this landmark agreement with Founder Apabi. For Penguin, both the Chinese market and the digital arena represent areas of great opportunity and future growth, and in Apabi we believe we have found the right partner to develop our e-book offering. We look forward to using our relationship with Apabi as a springboard for a range of digital projects over the coming years."

Fang Zhonghua, Senior Vice-President of Founder Group, says: "Penguin is the world's leading consumer publishing business, and the best-loved brand in the industry. I'm very happy that

Penguin Group and Founder Apabi will start to cooperate in digital publishing in China, reaching out to the world's largest online population."


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Notes to Editors:

Penguin Group (China) was legally established in August 2005, to establish a foothold for the brand. From its base in Beijing, Penguin works to develop distribution of English language titles, establish Chinese joint publishing projects, and acquire translation rights to Chinese language works.

Penguin was the first trade publisher to have its own website (and the first English-language trade publisher to launch a Chinese-language website), produce audiobooks and eBooks and to create its own online community and blog.  Around 17m people visited Penguin websites around the world in 2008.  Recent digital initiatives include Penguin Dating - an online dating website designed to bring literature lovers together, Blog a Penguin Classic - the biggest ever classics blog, a wiki-novel A Million Penguins and an online storytelling project We Tell Stories, which won the prestigious Best in Show award, as well as the Experimentation award, at the recent South by South West Web Awards.

Founder Apabi was established in the year 2000 under the auspices of Peking University's Founder Group. Core products are based around the national standard Chinese Ebook Format (CEB) and Digital Rights Management (DRM) software. Today, Apabi offers digital library, newspaper database, online museum, mobile reading, and many more services. Founder Apabi also offers digitization, archiving, and sales services to publishers of books, newspapers and periodicals