PublishDrive, which reformed the market of e-books managed to break into the state-controlled Chinese book market. In fact, after a series of negotiations they will be able to enter the market through retail giant DangDang, often dubbed as ‘the Chinese Amazon’ – according to As we already reported, Hungarian startups are very successful lately.

AI in service of reading

To start with, PublishDrive is an

e-book sharing site that uses solutions based on artificial intelligence (AI).

In fact, if someone uploads a paper it appears in the offer of 400 online webshops in more than 100 countries. Besides, the system delivers it automatically to the shops and it not only registers the data of purchases but it also does analyses.

The Hungarian team behind the startup introduced their product on the TechCrunch in New York two years ago. Now they aim for the Chinese market where – according to a Forbes survey in 2014 – there are 580 publishers and, beyond doubt, it is the biggest market in the world. However, all publishers are state-owned since

private publishing is banned in the formerly Communist country.

As PublishDrive summed up, the total volume of the Chinese book market was

 between 20 and 23 billion USD in 2016.

Moreover, the total turnover is increasing by an average of 0.3 pc yearly. Furthermore, 58.4 pc of the population regularly reads books, which mean 812 million people altogether. In 2015, 80 pc of them read more than half an hour every day while 50 pc read over 10 books per year. According to the Chinese Book Market Data (2017), the 580 publishers produced more than

475,768 titles in 2015.

From the USA to China

Kinga Jentetics, CEO, and co-founder of PublishDrive told Forbes that they started the talks with their Chinese partners in 2016 and it was not easy to reach an agreement. She added that business is slightly different in the biggest country of the world because of the huge state importer and the censorship. Thus, it was

hard to find out who is who

and there are still some questions regarding the balance of power even today – she said.

Interestingly, PublishDrive did not get an index, but they are aware of the fact that they can have difficulties with some books. In fact, the startup already gained a foothold on the American market. After an investment worth one million dollars they could open offices in New York, California, and Seattle. In fact,

even Google provided them with mentorship.

Hungarian startups are very successful

As we already reported, many Hungarian startups became very successful in the past few years. Of course, the flagship of them is the presentation software Prezi reaching its 100 millionth user in April. But there are startups helping shatter taboo topics like Super Izzy AI. Hajnalka Héjja’s vision is to create a virtual hygienic assistant backed by artificial intelligence and machine learning to help to deal with taboo topics such as women’s health, menstruation, and pregnancy issues.

Furthermore, BOOKR Kids is a three-year-old startup that develops interactive books and apps for children as well as for publishers, schools, and companies. Not only does it digitalize the tales so far only available on paper but it also offers a new format for Intellectual Property owners. Finally, Turbine.AI, which has built an artificial intelligence that models how cancer works at the molecular level, and tests millions of potential drugs on it, won the Startup of the Year title at the Central European Startup Awards (CESA) in Sofia last year.

HERE is a collection of the most promising Hungarian startups of 2018.

Featured image:

Source:,, Daily News Hungary

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