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Subscription online dictionary service stirs public debate [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2017-6-15 08:35:54 |Display all floors

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Xinhua Dictionary, a 60-year-old Chinese brand, has been bombarded with criticism afterit launched a paid digital version in June, which is more expensive than the paper edition.

The dictionary’s digital version, which permits non-paying users to look up two words forfree per day, charges at minimum 40 RMB for its paid services. Optional add-ons includingword games are also available, though those hoping for the full package will pay as much as488 RMB. Criticism broke out soon after the dictionary's launch, with many expressingdiscontent over the price.

The dictionary has also been criticized on social media. Under the hashtag“XinhuaDictionaryAPP,” which had garnered around 2 million page views as of press time,many comments compared the price of a hard copy of the dictionary (24.9 RMB) to that ofthe digital version, accusing the developers of being profit-driven and tarnishing thereputation of a respected brand.

“Unlike other popular reference books, Xinhua Dictionary is regarded by the Chinesepublic as a symbol of Chinese culture, as it contains not only linguistic knowledge but alsohistorical importance. It’s unacceptable to use such a masterpiece to scam the Chinesepeople,” one netizen wrote on Sina Weibo.

Other users and media outlets displayed a different opinion. According to an articlepublished by Central Kitchen, a news platform of the People’s Daily, the digital versionshould not be supported by public funds, as the paper edition is already sold for a relativelylow price.

In response to the public outcry, the dictionary’s publisher, Commercial Press, announcedthat the price is not only for the content of the reference book, but also its services,including voice search, webcam search and handwriting instruction. Commercial Press haspromised to change the price depending on user feedback.

First published in 1957, Xinhua Dictionary has been officially recognized by GuinnessWorld Records as the most popular dictionary and best-selling book.


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Post time 2017-6-15 09:33:08 |Display all floors
I don't see any wrong. I think digital publicdations need to recoup their true costs and eventually it will be seen that paper publications are worth their money. Consumers in CHina should grow up and be less lazy. To demand cheaper servies is cheap. Do it better if you can, for less money. Can you? Probably not. Most of you have wasted your time during language class at school. Now you want to translate literature? You think you can do that but you do not want to pay for the reference works that you need? You are cheapskates!

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Post time 2017-6-16 08:29:09 |Display all floors
Full package costs 488 yuan?I don't mind an app requires certain charge for availability,but that is a lot.And is it for a year or life long use?I hope they can reconsider the charge of it.
I forgot how to forget.

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Post time 2017-6-16 15:19:11 |Display all floors
the two commentators above me can be likened to object and shade, one always linking to the other

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