Handbook of Cultural and Creative Industries in China
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Handbook of Cultural and Creative Industries in China

Edited by Michael Keane

China is at the crux of reforming, professionalising, and internationalising its cultural and creative industries. These industries are at the forefront of China’s move towards the status of a developed country. In this comprehensive Handbook, international experts including leading Mainland scholars examine the background to China’s cultural and creative industries as well as the challenges ahead. The chapters represent the cutting-edge of scholarship, setting out the future directions of culture, creativity and innovation in China. Combining interdisciplinary approaches with contemporary social and economic theory, the contributors examine developments in art, cultural tourism, urbanism, digital media, e-commerce, fashion and architectural design, publishing, film, television, animation, documentary, music and festivals.
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Chapter 26: Between sustaining and disruptive innovation: China’s digital publishing industry in the age of mobile Internet

Xiang Ren


Among China’s cultural and creative industries digital publishing has the potential to change the boundaries that have previously constrained reading publics in China. Most of these boundaries are administrative, intended to channel the Chinese reading public into state approved formats and genres. Digital publishing, and more recently mobile Internet reading practices, are challenging institutional arrangements and generating disruptive technological innovations, not only in respect to publishing business models, but also administration, censorship, and reading cultures. In changing the game rules of connecting readers, content, and publishers, they broaden the scope of genres, and in doing so provide seeds of digital activism. Yet, while there is cause for optimism, there is uncertainty about the extent to which disruptive technologies can transform established publishing models and how the relations between digital publishing, reading publics and digital activism will play out. Uncertainty exists especially when the core consumer market of mobile publishing is the diaosi, a demographic sometimes referred to a ‘lost generation’.

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