If China's top Internet search engine controls Chinese literature the way it delivers Internet search results, be prepared for Baidu.com to censor, misrepresent, and deliver books to Chinese readers in a way only a book-burner could love.
Baidu is now extending its government-influenced Internet monopoly into the Chinese literature sector. Baidu Literature announced its establishment and revealed a complete structure covering several sub-brands like Zongheng.com, 91 Panda Book, and Baidu Shucheng.
At the same time, according to a report from TechWeb.com.cn, Baidu Literature will gain support from Baidu's various internal resources, including Baidu Tieba, Baidu game, Baidu music, Baidu video, and 91 Wireless. Baidu Literature also signed agreements with several partners in the gaming, movie and TV sectors.
Baidu Literature's representative told local media that Zongheng.com will be the core of its original literature platform, which has over 10,000 contracted authors, more than 400,000 registered authors, and 160,000 works. Zongheng.com was previously an Internet literature website under Perfect World — a Chinese Internet game company — and Baidu acquired its entire stake for CNY191.5 million at the end of 2013.
For its distribution platform, Baidu Literature said they have the Baidu Shucheng app and website and Panda Book platform, which can ensure the stable output of original resources to obedient Chinese readers.
For third-party cooperation, the company will also promote resource exchanges with its peers. Baidu Literature said at present they have teamed with hundreds of distribution platforms for copyright content cooperation covering nearly 100,000 copyright works.
Financial terms and organizational details of Baidu Literature were not released.