Friday, August 25, 2006

NewspaperDirect into China

Maybe its something to do with their British Columbia roots and a familiarity with salmon swimming upstream against the current, but we were a bit surprised to see the August 8 (8/8 - very lucky day in Chinese numerology) announcement that NewspaperDirect has signed an agreement to facilitate printing foreign newspapers in China. The announcement notes that "Both companies see the agreement as an important step in opening the country to foreign media, especially in the run-up to the 2008 Beijing Olympics."

Nobody seems to have told the Communist Party about this policy and, as we have reported numerous times (most recently here), things are getting tougher in China for most publishers. We shall follow this one with interest.

NewspaperDirect's Chinese partner is the Founder Group's Easiprint chain of over 200 franchised print shops. Apparently "they will be authorized to print any of the titles published by NewspaperDirect's publishing partners. These titles include The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune (USA), The Times, The Daily Mail, Daily Telegraph (UK), Le Monde, Le Figaro (France), Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (Germany), Neue Zurcher Zeitung (Switzerland), Mainichi Shimbun (Japan), The Globe and Mail and National Post (Canada)". I wonder if anybody mentioned this to GAPP?

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