Media and Advertising

Lads mag special: Maxim China is Minim

No Maxim in Maxim China

Maxim China has been "about to launch" for about three years. The company behind Maxim China is the SCMP Group, which publishes the South China Morning Post and is controlled by the Kwok family, one of the richest clans in Asia, who happpen to control all the prime real estate in Beijing's emerging CBD.

You might think that with such a background, it would be small beer to launch a little lad's magazine, especially since FHM paved the way more than a year and a half ago.

That is quite clearly not the case, as you can see from the pictured cover of the second issue of Maxim China, which does not contain any reference to the name 'Maxim' at all, except for the editor's email addresses: It took them three years to launch this magazine, and they are not even allowed to mention its real name, probably because the state-owned company that controls the publication licence -- The Foreign Languages Press Distribution Department (!) -- cannot get permission to do it.

By comparison, FHM China does not have the FHM logo on its cover, but it does have 'For Him Magazine' underneath its Chinese name, and uses FHM throughout the magazine.

FHM China responds with a threesome

FHM has a good Chinese name -- 男人装 -- which means 'men's clothing' but sounds a little like 'men strong'. Maxim is cursed with an effeminate sounding 风度 -- which means 'demeanor' or 'bearing'.

As far as content goes, Maxim also has a lot of catching up to do: the girlie pics are not very sexy and there is not as much fun stuff to look at (cars, guns, gross stuff, jokes etc.) when compared to FHM.

So now FHM is no longer the only glossy magazine trying to prise 20 yuan away from young urban Chinese men. But there is nothing for them to fear just yet.

Links and Sources
China Media Timeline
Major media events over the last three decades
Danwei Model Workers
The latest recommended blogs and new media
From 2008
Front Page of the Day
A different newspaper every weekday
From the Vault
Classic Danwei posts
+ Culture and corporate propaganda in Soho Xiaobao (2007.11): Mid-2007 issues of Soho Xiaobao (SOHO小报), illustrating the complicated identity of in-house magazines run by real estate companies.
+ Internet executives complain about excessive Net censorship (2010.03): Internet executives complain about excessive Net censorship at an officially sanctioned meeting in Shenzhen.
+ Crowd-sourced cheating on the 2010 gaokao (2010.06): A student in Sichuan seeks help with the ancient Chinese section of this year's college entrance exam -- while the test is going on!
Danwei Archives