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Saturday, May 18, 2013

Pirated 50 Shades a boomer in China

Contraband erotica is popular, according to The Telegraph

And censorship be damned.

Ever since Fifty Shades of Grey was translated into traditional Chinese for the Taiwan market last August, contraband copies have been making their way onto the bedside tables of the mainland.

As many as 400 booksellers on Taobao, China's enormous shopping website, are stocking pirated versions of the novel, with the whole trilogy costing roughly £13.

Wrapped in the same distinctive blue steel cover, these copies are printed off in the southern city of Guangzhou from smuggled Taiwanese editions.

The Good Union bookstore, which usually sells school textbooks, said it had sold roughly 80 sets of the trilogy in the past month.

"Not many people know about it yet," said a spokesman for the Foreign Multi-Resource bookstore. "There has been no publicity, so it is only a cult book at the moment," he added.

Opinion, however, is divided about the merits of Christian Grey's - or, in the Chinese version, Ge Lei's romance with his young female conquest, Si Di'er.

"Most of the feedback we get is that it is very repetitive," said the spokesman.

The users of Douban, a Chinese social networking website, gave the book just 5.3 out of 10, complaining of its "tedious style".

So whether it will lead to a population boom in the Celestial Kingdom is moot...


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