Modern Weekly

This is the grand-daddy of lifestyle weeklies, created in 1997 out of the old "Weekend Pictorial," still its name in Chinese.

Published out of Guangzhou, it set the trend of putting out one magazine in several separately-bound sections - for news, life, finance, and urban fashion - that is now followed by BQ and The Bund in Beijing and Shanghai, respectively.

Danwei interviewed Thomas Shao, founder and CEO of Modern Media, and summarized Modern Weekly's strengths thusly:

There was a certain genius in the format that Shao likes to call 'paperzine': it is the size of a tabloid newspaper but printed on glossy paper. The combination of glossy paper with a low price (5 yuan compared to 15 yuan and up for most fashion magazines) helped make it one of the best known magazines in a very short space of time. Modern Weekly now prints nearly half a million of each issue and is an established market leader in the Chinese print media, attracting advertisements for luxury and fashion brands, mobile phones and high-end consumer products.

Another strategy that Modern Weekly pioneered in China was targeted free distribution: the company installed small racks in upscale shops and restaurants all over their target markets. These racks ensured that the emerging middle class — people who work in high-end office buildings and dine in smart restaurants — very quickly had a high awareness of the magazine, and read it even if they did not buy or subscribe.

Publication License Number: CN44-0102

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