Media business

GAPP official: no public listings for newspapers

Mure Dickie of the Financial Times interviewed Long Xinmin, a "minister at the press and publishing administration" who confirms that GAPP is against newspaper groups raising capital from the market. Nothing to do with the news you understand, it's all about clamping down on corruption. Excerpt:

Newspaper shares ban sets back liberalisation

China has barred local newspapers from publicly issuing shares following a corruption scandal last year at IPO pioneer Beijing Youth Daily, according to the sector’s top regulator.

However, the government was “encouraging” book publishing companies to list shares on stock markets in mainland China and Hong Kong, said Long Xinmin, minister at the press and publishing administration...

...In an interview with the Financial Times, Mr Long blamed the freeze on new newspaper listings on problems at Beijing Youth Daily, a leading Chinese newspaper. It listed its commercial operations in Hong Kong in 2004 under the name Beijing Media.

The arrest of a number of Beijing Media’s advertising managers and staff for “economic problems” had infuriated investors and hurt the company’s share price, Mr Long said...

...At the time, Shi Zongyuan, Mr Long’s predecessor as head of the general administration of press and publications, told the FT that Beijing had suspended liberalisation because of the role international media played in “colour revolutions” in Georgia, Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan...

...Mr Long stressed that Beijing was trying to give private capital an expanded role in publishing and distribution.

“We encourage and promote listings in the publishing sector,” he said.

The FT reported in March that Liaoning Publishing Group had been given permission to become the first Chinese publisher to list in Hong Kong...

...He noted the recent back-door listing of Shanghai Xinhua Media, a distribution venture, and plans for an IPO by Sichuan Xinhua Winshare Chainstore, a distributor based in western China...

In another story filed by Mure Dickie, The FT reports that Baidu is planning a move into the Japanese market. Your correspondent's favorite sentence of the article:

"In Japan, Baidu will also lack the indirect support of Chinese internet censors, who have disrupted or blocked Google’s services."

There are currently 3 Comments for GAPP official: no public listings for newspapers.

Comments on GAPP official: no public listings for newspapers

Thanks Jeremy to signal this article... LIU Binjie (柳斌杰 liǔ bīnjié), LONG's deputy (see details about these GAPP managers on was was already paving the way in an interesting article entitled "China welcomes foreign cooperation on press and publication" on People's Daily online, April 25, 2006

Byeond the weird candor of Mr SHI, it is funny, to see the way these managers see things if I read well and if the quote is really exact word by word (?)" The arrest of a number of Beijing Media’s advertising managers and staff for “economic problems” had infuriated investors and hurt the company’s share price, Mr Long said..."
Indeed it is not the "arrest" which infuriated shareholders, they were pleased with it ! Naspers, and other shareholders, were above all infuriated that GAPP/PRC authorities allowed a company managed by these crooks to list...

Abstract below of a book I am finishing writing (funny I was just on this chapter yesterday)

"There was also in 2005 the first test case of a Chinese newspaper publisher, Beijing Media Group (China Youth daily) indirectly listing on a "foreign stock exchange", Hong Kong -only an advertising arm, not the official publisher-. Roughly 10% of the listed company have been purchased at the time of the IPO by the South African media group Naspers. Nevertheless, the newly listed corporation felt a few months later, in 2005, after complaints by Naspers, into a scandal, with high-level arrests in Beijing into allegations of bribery and corruption. Two vice-presidents had been suspected of shifting advertising income to their own little firm a few days before the IPO (probably by fear of losing their usual kickbacks, a common practice in the advertising industry according to most specialists*).

* quote "Finally the ugly. When you are working at the grassroots level in China, direct bribery is all too often the path to success. ...In a similar fashion, with China's newspapers, magazines and television stations all under government control, local advertising agencies engage in a carnival of kickbacks to China's media managers. Source: ""One Billion Customers", James McGregor, Wall Street Journal Books FreePress 2005 ISBN 0-7432-8862-9 (James McGregor, an old China hand, was for several years in China in particular a journalist, and then the head of DowJones) unquote

By the way, I also have chapter about another apparent scandal, concerning a large book business in the PRC and its recent listing overseas.... So I wonder what they will say next time, if this scandal concerning books ever blows up one day in turn... Won't be left much to list overseas at the end. Funny how these politicians see things. The problem seems to be caught the hand in the jar and above all the bad publicity, not the lack of seriousness in enforcing good governance in the companies directly under the government juridiction, especially before and during an IPO...
(by the way, in defense of the GAPP concerning this Beijing Media Group scandal, most large newspapers contrarily to books and magazines are usually managed above the head of the GAPP, directly by the CPC, ...but after all, these guys all play the same game of musical chairs, don't they).

see my previous comment on this post, one should read of course Beijing Youth Daily not China Youth Daily
indeed Danwei already explained the difference between these 2 dailies in the following post

I'm currently teaching at an American IT company in Beijing, and some of my Chinese colleagues there recently suggested an interesting conspiracy theory to me.

They suggested there is speculation that much of the disruption of Google in China - particularly the near-total shutdown it suffered for a week or so either side of June 4th this year - is actually the result covert denial of service attacks by Baidu, which is cannily taking advantage of the government-imposed filtering to overwhelm its rival's website by orchestrating mass searches for 'politically sensitive' terms.

Worrying plausible, no?

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