Taiwan's Biggest Book Store, Far EasTone to Launch E-books

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Taiwan's largest book store operator and one of its biggest mobile phone service providers have teamed up to promote e-books on the island. They plan to launch an e-book service and e-reader by the second quarter of next year.

On Wednesday, Eslite Books and Far EasTone Telecommunications invited other companies around Taiwan to start working together on e-books. They hope to attract book publishers, comic book makers, television stations and others to develop more content and promote Chinese language e-books.

The announcement shows the global e-book trend continues to grow and is attracting a bigger following in Chinese, the most widely used language in Taiwan. The service Eslite and Far EasTone plan to establish is similar to Amazon.com's Kindle and e-book store. Far EasTone will also benefit from wireless downloads of e-books and other content to be made for e-readers.

So far, San Li TV, a popular local TV station, has signed on to the idea. The company has already adapted a popular drama to comic books that it also sells as e-comics.

The goal for Far EasTone is to explore e-reading on a range of devices and not just one e-reader, a company official said. Smartphones, mobile Internet devices, netbooks and other devices could also serve as e-readers, the official said.

The companies had no further details about the e-reader or service to be launched next year.

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