05.13.138:21 AM ET

‘50 Shades’: Contraband Hit in China

Pirated copies are sneaking in.

You can’t stop Christian Grey. No one in China would translate and bring 50 Shades of Grey to China, but it has become a hit anyway. Ever since the book was translated in Taiwan last August, it’s been crossing over the borders into China to become a contraband sensation. As many as 400 booksellers on Taobao, China’s online massive shopping website, are offering pirated copies of 50 Shades, and the Golden Union bookstore, which usually sells textbooks, said it had sold about 80 copies last month alone. “Not many people know about it yet,” said a spokesman for the Foreign Multi-Resource bookstore. “There has been no publicity, so it’s only a cult book at the moment.” The reviews so far haven’t been great, with users on social-networking site Douban only giving 50 Shades 5.3 stars out of 10. Apparently it’s too “tedious” for Chinese tastes.