China Times

Currently a financial broadsheet, this paper has gone through many unsuccessful incarnations over the past few years.

Formerly China Materials News (中国物资报), it was passed off to the China Disabled Persons Federation in early 2001 after the State Internal Trade Bureau was eliminated in a government restructuring.

Initially published three times a week as a metro newspaper heavily inspired by Southern Weekly, by the end of the year it had become a daily with dreams of being China's New York Times. But there wasn't much of a market for commentary at the time (The Beijing News was still a few years away), so China Times was unable to realize its aspirations. A retooling in mid-2002 shrunk it down to a metro tabloid in the style of the Beijing Times, which it began to resemble in content (see this short history).

In March, 2004, apparently in response to the influence that The Beijing News had gained since is launch the previous November, China Times expanded its scope from local to national news and added special weekly lifestyle features and a section devoted to Beijing's Central Business District (press release).

A substantial redesign took place before a widely-publicized relaunch on 20 November, 2005. The color scheme was changed from red to blue, and the overall design was somewhere between the populism of the Beijing Times and the elitism of The Beijing News. Despite a beefed-up investigative news department, daily op-ed content, and fearless entertainment reporters, the paper failed to make any money.

In July, 2007, with considerable investment from the Wanda Group, it reinvented itself as a weekly business paper. "Lu Xun of the stock markets," Shui Pi (小皮, real name Lü Pingbo 吕平波), co-founder of the China Business Times (中华工商时报), was brought in as editor. Early on, the redesigned paper ran into problems with untrained staff, as this account from a reporter who complained about plagiarism attests, but things have improved since then.

It's now aiming to be the "Chinese Wall Street Journal" and the leading commercial financial newspaper in the country by 2012. It also has decent commentary and cultural coverage in addition to its focus on business.

Note: The mainland China Times should not be confused with the China Times of Taiwan (中国时报).

Publication License Number: CN11-0071