Time Asia seeking partner for Chinese-language website

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 16 April, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 16 April, 2008, 12:00am
 

Time Asia is seeking a mainland partner for the launch of a Chinese-language online edition, attempting to build on growing interest among mainlanders for international news.

Edward McCarrick, global publisher of Time, said Chinese were among the top viewers of the company's English-language portal, which provides real-time news and content from its current print issue.

'Our print circulation is small [in the mainland] and mainly from subscriptions,' Mr McCarrick told Media Eye.

'But our website drives traffic despite being in English.'

He said the company would work with a mainland partner to develop the Chinese content but did not have a timetable for the launch of the site.

International traffic accounts for 20 per cent of Time's portal audience and executives of the United States media company envisage big opportunities for the online business in South Korea, Japan and China.

Time could be considered a late starter to the Chinese-language market. The Wall Street Journal Asia and the Financial Times already have dedicated Chinese websites.

While the internet is expected to continue eroding the readership bases of some traditional media, Mr McCarrick said Time does not face too much pressure.

'We don't see the digital product threatening our print product,' Mr McCarrick said. 'But there is no doubt the online business was the growth engine with revenue doubling last year.'

Total page views for Time's website reached 770 million, with 128 million visitors last year.

According to the latest circulation figures from the Audit Bureau of Circulations, Time Asia sold 270,480 copies per issue in the six months ended December last year, with a readership of 1.5 million.

Fewer chasing dreams, says Li

Hong Kong young people lack innovation and have lost the will to make dreams come true, according to PCCW chairman Richard Li Tzar-kai.

The 42-year-old son of Li Ka-shing told the BBC news programme Asia Business News that Hong Kong's young people seemed to be lacking in the city's traditional spirit of braving challenges in their careers or studies.

'In the past, young people here had dreams. Such spirit helped Hong Kong outperform other cities in the region,' Mr Li said in the programme which airs today.

Now TV platform going abroad

Meanwhile, Mr Li's Now TV has tapped 60 per cent of the local pay-television market and he said there were plans to export the latest internet protocol television technology overseas.

Mr Li, who outlined the plans to the same BBC show, gave no details or timetable for the expansion.

Now TV uses a household's existing telephone line and internet connection to deliver multi-channel pay-television services.

Last week the company announced it would add six new channels for a total of 161, the biggest line-up among the city's cable and pay-television operators.

The new channels include mainland-based China Business Network, a Chinese financial news channel and Hong Kong-based Celestial Movies Asia and Celestial Classic Movies.

Others are Sony Pictures' AXN Beyond; London-based KidsCo channel, which is backed up by NBC Universal, DIC Entertainment and Corus Entertainment; and GMA Pinoy TV, Now TV's first 24-hour general entertainment channel for overseas Filipinos.

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