China Literature held an Overseas Online Literature Dissemination Summit Conference and Online Literature Global Dissemination Symposium on 8 June 2018 to discuss the dissemination of online literature globally in Singapore.
Many famous writers, editors, translators from China Literature, as well as many Southeast Asian readers, participated in the event. Through this event, international fans had a chance to interact closely with writers and translators. It also allowed writers and translators to have a precious exchange.
Currently, it has already become normal that China’s online literature is representative of Chinese culture’s proliferation out of China. Since China Literature’s launch of Webnovel, it has exceeded a cumulative total of 10 million visitors. International readers enjoy works like ‘The King’s Avatar,’ ‘Release That Witch,’ and ‘Library of Heaven’s Path.’ Using Heng Sao Tian Ya’s ‘Library of Heaven’s Path’ as an example, in just a few months of being released, it has accumulated more than 50 million reading counts. It has also been added to the libraries of more than 200,000 users and the most number of comments in a single chapter it has garnered exceeded a thousand. In addition, books like ‘I am Supreme’ and ‘Seeking the Flying Sword Path’ were simultaneously released in both Chinese and English, becoming a successful example of China online literature being timely translated.
Apart from China’s online literature being well-received by Western audiences, China’s online literature enjoys an uplift in Singapore, Malaysia, and other Southeast Asian countries. Southeast Asian users have always been a sizable presence on Webnovel. Furthermore, nearly a quarter of Webnovel’s translators of online literature come from Singapore.
At the Overseas Online Literature Dissemination Summit Conference (Singapore) held in the morning, China Literature’s Senior Vice President and Editor-in-Chief, Lin Tingfeng, China Literature’s Vice President and Deputy Editor-in-Chief, HouQingchen, had an exchange with translators such as Singaporean translator representative, CKtalonandLordbluefire, and manager of Malaysian translation team, EndlessFantasy Translations, Insignia. The three writers, Jing Wu Hen, Lord of the Common People, and Heng Sao Tian Ya represented China Literature’s 6.9 million writers by giving speeches, expressing their confidence and anticipation towards the dissemination of online literature overseas.
As a star translator of online literature translation, CKtalon currently collaborates with Webnovel. He was the first to give a speech and he expressed that the international translation team he leads has already created a glossary with more than 700 specific translation terms. In addition, “to further eliminate the barriers to reading that stem from differences in culture, translations in the future will also target the readers of different regions and countries, and through reasonable localization and adaptation, allow international readers to better understand Chinese online literature.”
Another independent Singaporean translator, Lordbluefire met Jing Wu Hen, the writer of the work he translates, ‘Ancient Godly Monarch,’ for the first time in person. Both of them expressed their personal opinions on the problems of online literature creation and its translation. In Jing Wu Hen’s speech, he said that the rise of China’s online literature internationally shows the world the potent output of Chinese culture. This might be an era when online literature writers can do things right. It is an opportunity, as well as a challenge. Online literature creators have to research and think about the logic behind the reasons why international readers enjoy web novels. That way, more popular works can be written. He also quipped, “Although I cannot read English at all, I still wish to carefully read through the English version of my work.” Lordbluefire also shared the difficulties in translating and disseminating stories of the Eastern Fantasy genre. Clearly, online literature has already built the bridge for the dissemination of culture that can foster Sino-Western exchanges.
Writer Heng Sao Tian Ya used Maslow’s hierarchy of needs to explain the popularity of China’s online literature all over the world. Apart from the ability to relieve stress and relax the body and mind, online literature can satisfy one’s needs in reality. Writer Lord of the Common People shared his views on the proliferation of online literature internationally from a territorial aspect. He expressed that online literature is a new window for a new generation to understand China. It is a new medium for Chinese culture to go beyond its borders. Compared to the few sentences in news articles, online literature can allow international readers to comprehensively understand Chinese culture in a more vivid and lively manner.
In the afternoon Singaporean media interview, Sow Lei Wei, from Singapore’s Mediacorp, interviewed Jing Wu Hen, Lord of the Common People, and Heng Sao Tian Ya. She raised many interesting questions, such as if writers would change their works according to the preferences of their readers. The writers replied that it depended on the circumstances. They would adopt reader suggestions that were of great value. However, they needed to consider it with discretion if the suggestion was a result of personal preferences or if it would affect the already planned plot outline. Sow Lei Wei also broached the topic about the high incomes of writers. Heng Sao Tian Ya expressed that writing must be first motivated by interest and not fame and wealth. If the underlying reason is not interest, it is impossible to succeed with a writing career. After the interview, Sow Lei Wei also had a chat with the writers about their lives in China, to which the writers introduced their own living situations.
The final segment of the event was an international fan meeting. The fans were of all ages, some college students, some employees of pharmaceutical companies, analysts, etc. The ages ranged from eighteen to people in their forties. Male readers preferred books like ‘The King’s Avatar,’ ‘Night Ranger,’ ‘Monster Paradise,’ ‘Almighty Coach,’ etc. Fed, a Singapore Polytechnic student, shared that he was not only an aficionado of online literature, he is also an author on Webnovel. He is currently writing a book named ‘Life Merchant.’ Female readers shared that they preferred ‘Gourmet Food Supplier,’ ‘A Valiant Life,’ ‘Crossing to the Future, it’s Not Easy to Be a Man,’ and ‘Full Marks Hidden Marriage: Pick Up a Son, Get a Free Husband.’ As for ‘Library of Heaven’s Path,’ it is well-liked by both men and women internationally. Twenty-eight-year-old analyst Mr. Lee told translators that he liked ‘Castle of Black Iron’ the most. It has an alluring story and he likes the plot structure. The protagonist, originally a loser, takes up the role as a soldier as he slowly becomes stronger and gains prominence. Such a story plot is very attractive to him.
The event, an extension of the dissemination of China’s online literature internationally, concluded successfully. Early in 2005, Qidian.com had begun the dissemination internationally as a representative of China’s online literature. Many China Literature novels have already been authorized to be published both digitally and in paper-back in Southeast Asia, United States, United Kingdom, France, Turkey, and many other European countries. They span 7 languages and more than 300 works have been authorized and the recognition of China’s online literature by the global market remains on a rise. This has also prompted China’s online literature in speeding up its exploration ofthe proliferation of online literature.