E-book education for China
Based on your request regarding the proposal of a new business venture opportunity in a developing country, I have completed the appropriate research. I am recommending the sales and production of educational e-books and readers with the specific target market of China . A detailed analysis regarding this business proposal is as follows:
What is an e-book?
An e-book is an electronic version of a traditional, printed book. E-books are created as various file types which can be accessed via a personal computer, an e-book reader, or even with a cell phone. E-book production is a rapidly growing trend in the publishing industry. Consumers are able to purchase an e-book and download it from the Internet in as little as 30 seconds, dependant on the bandwidth of the Internet service provider being used. Not only are e-books gaining in popularity in the fiction mass market but this technology is becoming increasingly common for the production of educational textbooks.
As compared to traditional print books, e-books provide many conveniences to the reader. It takes no physical space (other than data size) to store an e-book. A pocket sized e-book reader can store a large amount of text files in an easily portable media format. In the near future, students may be able to ditch their backpack and carry nothing but a reader. Readers may begin accessing the text as soon as the download completes. E-book websites may even someday replace traditional print bookstores.
Another advantage to e-books is the minimal cost of production. Unlike the traditional printed and bound textbook, e-books don’t require paper and ink to produce copy. A simple, edited file saved to a computer is all that is necessary. In this manner, publishers save not only the cost of printing, but they are also contributing to efforts which protect the environment.
E-books provide additional features which are not available in traditional print textbooks, such as the ability to insert electronic bookmarks, make notes in the document and highlight text. Many of the newer e-book readers also include extra functions such as built-in dictionaries, and translation software which allows the reader to view text in other languages. Adjustable font sizes facilitate readers who might have trouble reading smaller text. , 
Based on the potential for economic growth and demand for educational services, I have concluded that China is an optimal site to invest in a venture of this sort.
Economists estimate that the GDP for China in 2008 will increase to $3.49 trillion.  The estimated growth rate is 10.1%, as compared to the United States, which is only expected to grow 1.2%.  There is no doubt that the Chinese economy is experiencing a period of rapid growth. Many economists predict China’s double digit growth rate in GDP can be sustained for some time. China is at the forefront of developing countries worldwide.
Chinese government officials recently announced that education is the number one priority in the country’s long-term plan for growth. Their goal is to provide each child a completely free nine-year education ; the institution of this goal is being realized through an increase to the federal education budget. In 2007, this budget figure reached 646.1 billion Yuan ($85 billion US), which was 105.3 billion Yuan ($13.9 billions US) more than the previous year.  This illustrates China’s determination in improving education in the country and reaching their ultimate goal.
In addition, the demand for education in China is high. China has over 1.3 billion people living within its borders. In rural areas alone, there are 150 million students.  The total number of students in the entire country continues to increase annually. This will provide a large and rapidly expanding customer base for the development of educational e-books. Chinese families are very concerned with proper education for their children and tend to invest a great deal over the duration of a child’s school career. China is, therefore, an excellent site to launch the production of education-related products.
Textbooks are one of the key components in education but unfortunately, there is a shortage available within China. Without appropriate texts, students cannot efficiently absorb new knowledge. Educational e-books will fill a wide gap and a very important need.
Specifics of the venture
Specifically, Marshall Partners will transform paper textbooks into e-book files and function as an e-book wholesaler in China. Along with the sales of downloadable e-book files, the company will provide technical support and download service to those who also purchase our exclusive e-book reader. Lack of electricity is a concern in some rural areas in China; therefore, the e-book reader will be manufactured utilizing technology to account for a much longer battery life. Inclusion of translation software which allows English books to be read in Chinese will also be included. Cost to produce the reader, using current, advanced technology, will be minimal.
Another concern of the Chinese government is providing greater resources in the many rural regions. Marshall Partners can easily become part of the solution by sending at least one e-book reader to each school in rural areas. Appropriate texts will be preinstalled in the reader before shipping. Teachers can start lecturing students on a variety of subjects as soon as the reader is received.
As previously mentioned, e-book readers can store many different texts. This technology can be further utilized in a library. Students will have the ability to browse a library’s database and choose a book, then simply check out a reader which contains the selected text. The ease of procuring a book will stimulate a student’s curiosity to read more and I am confident this option will turn out to be very popular in China.
In presenting the venture to the Chinese, several factors can be pointed out which will further entice buyers.
Firstly, China’s education system will be improved through the use of e-books and readers. There is a shortage of teaching equipment in most of rural China and an e-book reader will provide multiple functions, such as a dictionary and note capabilities, which will facilitate the teaching process in one small package.
Secondly, uneven distribution of wealth will be improved. Most rural families live in extreme poverty. One major factor is the lack of educational opportunities. Education can change human lives; knowledge equals the ability to earn more. If education in rural areas is improved, it can have a direct impact on China’s total economy. As more and more people are educated, it will aid in building valuable human resources in the future. Educational ventures will have a decidedly positive impact on China’s economy.
Lastly, e-book technology saves physical resources as it does not use ink and paper. It helps to conserve valuable environmental assets and protect the environment. China is well known for its severe pollution problems. By adopting e-books, China’s national image in regards to its stand against pollution will be improved.
Potential growth in this industry cannot be underestimated. Technology changes rapidly and computerization of a variety of processes as a global trend cannot be ignored. In the future, the use of electronic devices will only gain in popularity. Currently, e-books are getting more and more popular in the United States, however, this market has not been explored in Asia. The Chinese government contributed $85 billion to education last year alone.  Capturing a mere fraction of this budget can bring in as much as $850 million profit annually. The profit opportunity in this industry is nearly limitless.
Becoming the first company to enter the market will ensure Marshall Partners enjoys a better brand image than its competitors. E-book technology is a new concept for the majority of Chinese citizens. A loyal customer base can be developed as the company becomes the pioneer who provides this technology. For example, in the carbonated beverage industry, the majority of consumers prefer Coca-Cola over Pepsi because Coca-Cola was the pioneer in creating soft drinks. Creating a loyal customer base will enhance future growth for this venture. It is essential to act on this market opportunity immediately.
In conclusion, it is my recommendation that Marshall Partners establish a presence in China through the production of e-books and readers to facilitate educational opportunities in this rapidly growing country and its economy. The time to invest in this venture is now, while the market is still untapped.
Should you have any questions or concerns regarding this recommendation or the research presented, please free feel to contact me to schedule a meeting for a more in-depth presentation to the board.
- “E-book”, Wikipedia, 12 Feb. 2008 <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ebook>
- “e-book”, com, 12 Feb. 2008 <http://searchmobilecomputing.techtarget.com/sDefinition/0,,sid40_gci492555,00.html>
- Economist Intelligence Unit, “The world in figures: Countries”, The Economist, Feb. 2008: 108 &110
- Xinhua news agency, “China vows to boost input into education in coming years”, LexisNexis Academic, 10 Feb. 2008, <http://www.lexisnexis.com>
- “Image:Prc1952-2005gdp.gif”, Wikipedia, 10 Feb. 2008
- “sony-prs-505-ebook-lg.jpg”, digital-lifestyle, 10 Feb 2008
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