Chinese audio platform Ximalaya has earned the exclusive rights to release the first Chinese-language version of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series as audiobooks.
Tuesday, June 21, will see Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, the first book of the fantasy series, released as a Mandarin-language audiobook. The drop will be accompanied by the complete seven-novel set of audiobooks in English.
The remaining Chinese audiobooks will be uploaded on the platform one at a time.
Promotional poster for the audiobook series. Image courtesy of Ximalaya
The third most-read book in the world, the Harry Potter series boasts fans across the globe, including China. Since the first book was translated into Chinese in 2000, the series has become an important part of childhood for many Chinese Millennials and Gen Zers.
Film adaptations and spin-offs of the magical novels have also generated a great deal of buzz in China, even when re-released after more than a decade.
Following its acquisition of exclusive authorization to release the Chinese audiobooks from global digital publisher Pottermore Publishing House, Ximalaya invited top voice actors from the Chinese dubbing agency Voicegem to record the audio series.
Image via Weibo
Founded in Shanghai in 2012, Ximalaya is a popular audio platform that offers music, audiobooks, podcasts, radio channels, and more. In 2021, the platform had 340 million audio tracks across 101 different genres and 268 million monthly active users.
A booming market in China, the audiobook industry was valued at 5 billion RMB (more than 740 million USD) in 2021. Even tech giants have been trying to penetrate the market, with Tencent acquiring the audio platform Lazy Audio in 2021.
Cover image via Depositphotos
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