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China Businesscast: The Future of Chinese Media

magazines
Earnshaw talks about running a lifestyle magazine in China and believes the death of magazines is imminent.
The Chinese expression 从无到有(cong2wu2dao4you3), to emerge from nothingness, would be a fair way to describe how traditional and new forms of Chinese media have proliferated in the last decade. In this episode, I interview Graham Earnshaw, journalist-turned-businessman, who has three decades of experience in the media industry in China. He offers his insights on working in this industry, including "working in the grey", what the Sony Reader means for the future of Chinese magazines, how to start a dot.com in China, and the future of how the Chinese consume media.

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Graham Earnshaw's site

Check out Robert Ness's blog on entrepreneurial trends in Chinese media called The China Venture. Contact him at robert/at/danwei.org.

There are currently 5 Comments for China Businesscast: The Future of Chinese Media.

Comments on China Businesscast: The Future of Chinese Media

Hey Robert,

what's up with the feed? Why isn't this show in there?

Cheers,

Timo

That should be wu2, not wu3

[EDITOR'S NOTE (JG): Thanks, corrected]

Good it shows here, so we know about it...

Congratulation to Graham Earnshaw. Great to hear others talking about this subject, which is one of my favorites. For the record, already in 2004, there was in a letter to the editor, published in Digital Magazine News (DMN, one of the best and free source information concerning digital publications, see www.digitalmagazinenews.com):
(quote) "Our pen pal in Beijing...
Apart from being a heavy Internet user and a frequent traveler, I started to use Zinio and Newsstand out of despair of finding little foreign press in Mainland China; even in 5-star hotels, where they are permitted. I also had a problem with snail mail subscriptions, and very high subscription prices.
I feel that digital distribution has a great future in newly developed countries with emerging press markets. These markets will probably use instead, in a much faster and much better way, new technologies and digital products, such as Korea today and possibly tomorrow for China and India.
Northeast Asia is already leading the way concerning online distribution of digital content. Korea is the world-leading Internet user, and e-commerce for books reaches world records. Not far behind is Japan with its successful i-Mode and leading mobile technologies.
In China, digital media brings literature today to the masses with GSM and SMS. A 4,000 Chinese character novel has recently been auctioned to a Chinese telco for US$15,000, and will start being distributed on cell phones in coming months, divided into 60 SMS chapters. I am amazed by the enormous usage of SMS in China, the success of i-Mode in Japan or of Internet cafés in Korea, as well as the phenomenal success of online games in these countries.
The next step will probably be when 600 million Chinese or Indians, on top of 150 million Korean and Japanese, will unfold, and connect light color e-paper A3 screens to their 4G phones in order to download and read the latest e-magazines while watching, with simultaneous translation, a live soccer game in another window on this screen... "(unquote)

I just think about it, interestingly enough the New York based DMN was/is published by someone partly based in Hong Kong, where he was/is also the publisher of a digital financial magazine i.e. when one is based in Asia, and particularly in the PRC, one tend to realize in probably a few years in advance compared to the Transatlantic mature media markets how quickly paper will be replaced soon by screens, one way or the other, for all the good reasons mentioned by Graham

Just as Graham Earnshaw put it rightly the missing link is still the light high-def screen, connected to some kind of 3G mobile phone or iPod (all the necessary functions are already in these machines except the cheap large ultra light high-def screen) which is going to change the whole thing. The alternative technology is a chip near your eye. If you want to know how all this looks like in pictures see the link below:
Funny how Asia/China may inspire ideas concerning the subject of the "digital future" of paper media. In a lecture in Barcelona in 2004, at a leading international seminar about B2B magazines, it was the topic of one of the lectures about Asia (what surprised probably a bit the organizers who were expecting something else about supposedly-backwards Asia; well, the No 2 of IDG, Pat Kenealy, said that he was considering Google as its main competitor, what surprised many as well). See pictures of some of these slides here:
2004 FIPPb2b HuaDao_1_abstr.pdf (2.3 MB bytes) => http://www.onlinefilefolder.com/index.php?action=getshare&type=0&user_num=14390&share_id=91865&hash=0e874917c2b37dddda7f917f77f639d0
2004 FIPPb2b HuaDao_2appendix.pdf (1.0 MB bytes) => http://www.onlinefilefolder.com/index.php?action=getshare&type=0&user_num=14390&share_id=91866&hash=555c4fb7ae6975e828a87f28fe469507

Sorry about not having updated the feed. I have not been able to log into Blogger Beta for a week now, so I am going to move to the feed origin to a new location. Hopefully, this will not affect the feed.

very informative. the idea of "living in the grey" can also shed some light on why the enforcement of the laws and regulations in China is so ineffective.

personally, the media in China are mostly muzzled or used by the gov. they are not functioning as watchbogs to check and scrutinize the operations of the gov.

as long as we keep our mouths shut and play by the rules, we are gonna be fine.

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