Shanghai expats lose another English language voice

Published:  2 Dec at 6 PM
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Tagged: China, Euro
Popular English language online newspaper The Nanfang is set to close.

Expats living and working in Shanghai are about to lose yet another favourite English language online news source, with the announcement of the Nanfang’s closure after seven years isure to sadden European expats living in working in the city. Launched in 2011, the Nanfang was aimed at providing community news, vievs and information to the growing expat community in Shanghai.

Events, forums, classified ads, nightlife listings and relevant news items translated from Chinese were much appreciated by expats confused about the nuts and bolts of survival in one of China’s largest metropolises. In an online letter to its readers, the website’s co-founders Ewan Christie and Cam MacMurphy explained the reasons for the closure, mostly concerning soaring costs and shrinking revenues.

The pair had looked at alternative sources of revenue, approached venture capitalists and explored ways of increasing their capital, all to no avail. Finally, the founders realised they had too little time to be able to juggle running the site and its web traffic with the present needs of their careers. Early last year, the website’s focus was changed from its previous expat lifestyle content to providing commentary articles and more translated news, taking more time and increased adherence to deadlines.

The bad news of the website’s demise comes just one month after City Weekend Beijing announced its shutdown before being saved at the last minute by outside investors. Local community news and information in English covering the complexities and lifestyles of expats in this culturally very different country is essential, with online sites doing their best to educate and inform. Losing them would leave incomers, especially recent arrivals, at a loss as regards settling in and making the best of everything China has to offer.
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