The 2021 China Children Digital Reading Conference was held in Hangzhou on April 16th. At the summit, the Chinese Academy of Press and Publication (CAPP) and the KaDa Research Center of Children Reading jointly released the 2020 China Children’s Digital Reading Report, which verified the dynamics of digital reading for kids. In 2020, the number of parents who paid for kids’ digital reading increased by 101.8% in tier 5 cities and below.
The report illustrates that both the number of words and scores of Language and Literature of Chinese (commonly known as Yuwen) in the Senior High School Entrance Examination (commonly known as Zhongkao) and National College Entrance Exam (NCEE, commonly known as Gaokao) have been largely improved. Reading ability has become an important indicator in the evaluation system of Chinese education. The growing emphasis of Language and Literature of Chinese makes more Chinese parents increasingly recognize that the development of reading ability should start from an early age. Though parents might be driven by the rigid demand of exam-oriented education, kids’ enthusiasm for reading and parents’ expectation is the significant impeller for quality education. The report points out that rich and meaningful content as well as children’s love have become the three major driving forces for parents to pay for children’s digital reading products.
In the past, there was a general stereotype that parents in big cities attached more importance to quality education, while the true cause was the unequal distribution of educational resources, which made parents in the cities that were less developed feel helpless. But now, digitalization provides these parents with more options and makes them more confident in education. Based on the tens of millions of reading samples from the KaDa Story, the report clearly illustrates that proportion of digital reading kids in tier 3 and tier 4 cities in China is gradually increasing year by year. In 2020, the number of parents who paid for kids’ digital reading increased by 101.8% in tier 5 cities and below. The impressive thing is that not only parents in big cities pay much attention to kids’ reading, but also the many parents from less developed countries are improving their perception upon kids’ reading.
3-6 years old is a golden period for children to develop their reading abilities. The report demonstrates that 74.8% of children get to read before 2 years old. Even big data illustrates that kids under 2 years old are fond of scientific exploration, especially animal cognition types of things. Digital reading products, for example, KaDa, have become a significant path for kids to explore the curious world via reading.
In the KaDa Story App, there is a lot of content designed for kids under 2 years old with comprehensive themes. Digital reading breaks the boundary of space and time and has become a more popular way of reading for kids based on the report, which shows that 65.7% of kids prefer digital reading. The advantages of digital reading are not limited to the convenience, but more importantly, the inclusiveness of personalized reading, diverse reading carriers as well as niche readers. Digitization is accelerating the overall popularity of children’s reading, and it is also reducing the “utilitarian” of children’s reading. Big data from the KaDa Story shows that children read online throughout the day and are more active before they go to bed.
Besides, the opening ceremony of the Zhejiang Children and Juveniles Reading Association was held at the event site. Shen Shixi, Wang Songzhou, Tang Tang, Xiaoqiang, Jiang Junjing, and Ye Shiwen were invited to serve as children’s charity reading ambassadors and launched an initiative named Reading to Lighten the Children’s Future. The ambassadors will shoulder the responsibility and mission of children’s reading promotion.