A Chinese online book publisher has raised nearly $500,000 to build its digital publishing business in the United States, the first American publisher to do so.
Tradenet, a unit of China’s largest online bookstore chain, announced Monday that it raised $1.6 million in a private equity fund led by billionaire investor David Rubenstein.
Traditionally, Chinese publishers have struggled to reach an audience that includes Westerners and those with a high school education or less, making them difficult for foreign publishers to acquire and expand.
But China has opened up to foreign publishing in recent years, and Tradenet’s venture will give the company access to a larger audience.
It is not clear whether Tradenut will be able to reach all the Chinese readers it wants to reach with its e-books, said Richard Lee, Tradenets general manager of digital publishing in the U.S.
Trader Joe’s Books, a New York publisher, said in a statement that the acquisition would allow it to expand into the U, where it already has an established presence, but would allow its books to reach even more customers.
“We are very excited about the opportunity to be part of Tradenett’s digital publishing strategy, and look forward to helping them bring their titles to a broader audience,” the company said.
TradeshowBook, an online publisher, announced last year that it planned to acquire e-book publisher and booksellers giant The Book Depository, a major e-reader and e-publishing platform in China.
The company said the deal would create a digital library that includes The Book Depot’s e-readers and books.
Tradershow has also announced it is considering acquisitions for its ebooks, including an acquisition of bookmaker iBooks.
In March, Tradeshow announced a $1 billion deal to acquire Penguin Random House for $3.8 billion.