Media and Advertising

Confiscated newspapers and market leaders

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World Military Affairs magazine.

There's a brief note over at Century Chinese International Media Consultation that lists periodicals confiscated from newsstands by order of the Beijing Newspaper & Periodicals Circulation Bureau. Though many of the listed titles are unlicensed, the list also includes popular magazines and papers that had valid publication numbers. The best-selling World Military Affairs, China Marketing and China Computer World, the People's Revolutionary Army Museum's Military History, and the English-language 21st Century were all scheduled to be pulled along with their illegal brethren.

According to the note, posted on the 20th, the blacklist was issued by the bureau in January. A look through the inventory of a dozen or so Beijing newsstands this afternoon finally turned up an April issue of World Military Affairs, so we'll hold off on the cries of doom.

WMA is one of the country's top-selling magazines - incomplete statistics collected through China Post's distribution numbers put it in the top twenty in Xining, Taiyuan, Nanjing, and Shenyang. China Marketing was #16 in both Guiyang and Xi'an, and another blacklisted magazine, Speech and Eloquence ranked #14 in both Changsha and Guangzhou.

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China Marketing from November, 2005.

The vast majority of the magazines ranked in the top 20 are priced below 4 yuan (US$0.50). Some of the software, sports, and auto-themed magazines are priced slightly higher; China Marketing is 7.5 yuan.

Fighting over the top three spots are Readers (3 yuan), a digest magazine, Bosom Friend (3.5 yuan), a women's interest magazine, and Stories (2.5 yuan), whose title is pretty self-explanatory. They are published twice a month, and have circulation numbers reportedly between 4 and 8 million (see the Danwei TV spot for visuals and more info).

Overall, stories appear to be what readers are most interested in. Apart from Stories itself (two issues a month plus a supplement), Fiction Monthly, Story King, Science Fiction World, Shanghai Stories, Legends New and Old, and Chapter Fiction all make an appearance in the rankings.

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