A Comparative Analysis of qidian.com and webnovel.com: From the View of Digital Humanities

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Liang Xinxia


Being ignored by mainstream scholars, cyberliterature has become an integral part of contemporary recreation for people living in the world greatly changed by the revolution in information technology and consequent social upheaval. Chinese cyberliterature, benefitting from fast – growing digital culture industry, has developed successful industrial model represented by “qidian.com”, a famous website for internet users to read and write cyberliterature, ranking 9087 in global internet traffic. The launch of its international version “webnovel.com” in 2017 marks a strong, well – tested, and sophisticated cyberliterature industrial model entering global cultural market. By comparing these two websites from the view of digital humanities, this research is expected to analyze differences between their scale, functions, sorts of works, and two versions (original and translated) of a specific text existing in both websites. Based on data analysis, several conclusions will be inferred such as the advantages, limitations, and influences of “qidian – mode” facing unfamiliar and complicated international surroundings. After that, drawing inferences about the future direction of cyberliterature industry becomes available and reliable. In conclusion, though encountering several problems while launching the international version, “qidian – mode” with Chinese characteristics and standards provides a practical model for development and industrialization of cyberliterature around the world. The popularity and expansion of qidian.com proves that comparative literature should not only pay its attention to specific texts and traditional schools of literature, but also comprehensive changes of literature in internet era. 

Published: Nov 14, 2022

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Mutual Learning among Civilizations through Comparative Literature