Taiwan to Launch Book Coupons to Boost Publishing Industry

Taiwan to Launch Book Coupons to Boost Publishing Industry
Photo Credit: Tzuhsun Hsu @ Flickr CC By SA 2.0
What you need to know

The coupons will be limited to college or under college students with NT$ 300 (approximately US$ 10) each. The budget is estimated to be nearly NT$ 1 billion (approximately US$ 30 million) and will be implemented as soon as the end of the year.

TNL International Edition is sponsored by Tutor A B C

In 2009, to cope with the shrink of consumption brought by the 2008 global financial crisis, the Taiwanese government distributed coupons with a value of NT$ 3,600 (approximately US$ 110) to each citizen.

Recently, to enhance the reading culture and stimulate consumption, the minister of the Ministry of Culture Hong Meng-qi says that they propose to issue “book coupons" for the first time. The coupons will be limited to college or under college students with NT$ 300 (approximately US$ 10) each. The budget is estimated to be nearly NT$ 1 billion (approximately US$ 30 million) and will be implemented as soon as the end of the year.

China Times reports, Hong says that the Ministry of Culture originally issued the book coupon project as a mean to revive the stagnant industry. The plan focuses on ameliorating the recession of the publication industry, declination of the reading population and the deteriorating market conditions, such as the discount pricing strategy. Citizens can use the book coupons at bricks-and-mortar bookstores, and is estimated to create NT$5.9 billion (approximately US$ 181,500,000) of profits.

However, the Executive Yuan also asks the Ministry of Culture to expand the usage of the coupon. Other than books, movies and performing arts are expected to be included. Hong explains that the budget is not from the Ministry of Culture but is part of the budget of the Executive Yuan’s plan of short-term economic revitalization.

Liberty Times reports, Hong says that the Ministry of Culture launched the idea of the book coupons to create four important additional benefits, including enhancing the reading culture, showing Taiwan’s soft power, boosting the publication industry and supporting bricks-and-mortar bookstores.

The Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Education intend to work together, co-organized by the Central Bank, to issue book coupons denominated NT$ 100 (approximately US$ 3) each. Consumers can only use one coupon on one book in order to encourage reading habits.

Apple Daily reports, as to whether or not to extend targeted consumers to all the citizens, and whether to open to e-books and virtual channels (such as Internet bookstores, etc.), are still under discussion.

Translated by Vic
Edited by Olivia Yang

Sources: