JD.com, China’s second largest e-commerce platform after Alibaba, launched a crowdfunding campaign for its newly released e-reader JDRead on March 21. The fundraising exceeded RMB one million (USD 154,000 ) on Monday, far surpassing the goal of RMB 500,000 ahead of the April 16th end of the campaign.
JDRead features a 6-inch 1440×1072-pixel e-ink screen and a 2800 mAh capacity battery. It weighs 190 grams, close to the Kindle Voyage’s 180 grams, and resembles a smaller version of the Kindle Paperwhite.
Like the Kindle Voyage, JDRead is equipped with haptic response capability that gives a user’s fingers sensory feedback when touching the screen. It also uses a flat touch panel, which is different from the Paperwhite’s curved screen.
JDRead uses the Android operating system which makes it compatible with many smartphones, and JDRead users will also have access to JD.com’s large library of e-books via their device.
JDRead’s current main advantage may be its price. Compared to RMB 958 for the Kindle Paperwhite 3 and RMB 1499 for the Kindle Voyage, JDRead is going for RMB 599.
Some have raised doubts about why JD.com has entered the e-reader industry where Amazon has dominated for decades. All bets are off, but JDRead is certainly fighting for a foothold in this monopolized industry.
(Top photo from JD.com)