China Computerworld ( CCW ), the only official Sino-US joint-venture magazine on the mainland and once a must-read for China’s computer enthusiasts, is ceasing operations amid severe financial losses, its publisher said on Wednesday. Created in 1980 by US media and marketing firm International Data Group (IDG) and China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology to educate the Chinese public about computer science, CCW stood out as an exception to China’s general ban on foreign ownership in domestic media. CCW published its final print edition last June, but has so far maintained a website and social media accounts. But on Wednesday, it told employees that the company had run out of cash to pay salaries and other operation costs, according to an internal staff notice seen by the Post and confirmed by two employees. At least 40 employees have not been paid since February, and about 20 are considering legal actions against the company, according to an employee who declined to be named because they are currently in labour arbitration with CCW . IDG and China’s state-owned investment firm have been selling their shares in CCW since 2020, after the publication reported a 8.5 million yuan (US$1.3 million) loss the year before. CCW was a pioneer in China’s news industry, having made a name for its focus on the country’s booming internet sector. It was the first newspaper in mainland China that operated solely itself without state funding, after the government reforms that began in 1978. The publication also marked the first Chinese venture of IDG, a multibillion-dollar publisher of more than 200 magazines and books. The firm later published the Chinese-language editions of several popular US magazines, including Cosmopolitan , GQ and Harper’s Bazaar . “We’re covering subject areas that don’t directly relate to critiquing government policy or economic policy,” IDG founder and chairman Patrick McGovern told Forbes in 2006. China’s internet sector sees steep drop in funding amid rising risks The publishing giant is also among the early partners of IDG Capital, one of the first global investment firms focusing on China in the 1990s. The firm has acquired stakes in some of the most successful Chinese internet firms, including internet search company Baidu, social media and video gaming giant Tencent Holdings , smartphone and gadget maker Xiaomi, and food delivery and on-demand service provider Meituan. IDG Capital has also invested in 50 out of 301 China-based unicorns – start-ups valued at more than US$1 billion – according to Hurun’s Global Unicorn Index 2021, making it one of the most successful venture capital firms in China.