NY Times Launches Chinese Site

Just this morning (Thursday, June 28, 2012), the New York Times launched their first Chinese language website. The site is called cn.nytimes.com and is intended to “draw readers from [China’s] growing middle class,” who categorized as being “educated, affluent, global citizens.’’

However, the first thought that likely crosses many peoples’ minds when they hear of the Chinese NY Times is that of censorship. How can the NY Times possibly maintain an unbiased and newsworthy publication in a country that utilizes so much censorship of the media and press? Although the NY Times cannot say there will be no censorship, since the Chinese government has such strong firewalls, the Times has stated that this publication will not be tailored to the Chinese government, and in promising such, the Times has explained that it has set up its server outside of China and “the site will follow the paper’s journalistic standards.”

The format of the new paper will include about two-thirds of the articles being  translated from the American New York Times version, and and one-third of the paper will be written by Chinese editors and local freelance journalists. Also, it will begin as a free publication.


See http://mediadecoder.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/06/27/the-times-is-introducing-a-chinese-language-news-site/?hp for the full story.


  1. It will be interesting to see how this “experiment” pans out. As stated, China obviously has censorship problems and it may be difficult for the Times to deliver a truly objective and comprehensive news analysis on national Chinese news and “provocative” topics. What also may be interesting to witness is how the Chinese government treats Chinese journalists who write for the Times that cover national news. The Chinese government has had a history of not only censoring news content through firewalls, but also censoring journalists through intimidation, and in some cases, literally “disappearing” them for days on end. Hopefully, the government will not apply these methods of fear and intimidation on Chinese journalists working for the Times, and the news site will be a step in the right direction towards a well-informed Chinese middle class.

  2. I think that the issue of censorship will either make or break this website. The whole point of this new website is to inform China’s growing middle class, which cannot be done if censorship is utilized at the high levels China usually enforces. The NY Times may have stated that the Chinese government will not have an influence over what information is published because the server has been set up outside of China, but I think many would not be surprised if the Chinese were somehow able to block certain information.

    I think there may also be a problem with the one-third of the paper that will be written by Chinese editors and journalists. I think that is where there will be more of a problem with censorship. Those Chinese writers may not feel comfortable going against the normally acceptable writing practices in China. The Chinese government may also try and enforce some sort of restriction on what the editors and journalists can legally write. Only time will tell how successful this website will be in achieving the goal of keeping the Chinese middle class informed.

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