Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Ad Age keeps up the heat

Kudos to AdAge for keeping the heat on Morgan Stanley and BP for their 'Ad-pull' policy when faced with unfavourable editorial. See DEBATING THE 'AD-PULL' POLICY CONTROVERSY.

The significance of the issue has been brought home to us once again in Asia today with news of the arrest in Guangzhou of Singapore Straits Times China correspondent Ching Cheong. Who knows what is going on there and it may seem a world away from saying nasty things about BP in a trade mag. But the truth is, it isn't that different and editorial standards in Asia are pretty poor to start with. We can't afford to let them slip any further.

The last day dilemma

David Shaw in his "B or not 2B" business media blog raises an issue which continues to plague trade shows in Asia: the last day clear out. Even as events have gradually decreased in length from 7 to 5 to 4 to 3 days, exhibitors still start to dismantle their stands half way through the last day.

Trade Shows and the Last Day Problem: "

Spent the last few weeks at a couple of trade shows, researching markets, launching a magazine and a show daily, and generally keeping busy.

Many trade shows have to deal with the problem of the 'last day.' The problem: how do you keep the exhibit floor from becoming a ghost town in the final hours as people hit the airport to get home?

Has anyone had success with putting the key conference programming last? My thought: Two days of exhibit floor, with a keynote address and some limited, though important conference content on the first and second days (as well as a major networking party after the second trade show floor day), but with the core conference programming and a stellar closing address for half of a third day.

Your thoughts?

(Via B or not 2B--A Business Media Blog.)

Conferences at what are really stand-alone exhibitions in Asia have often been a bit of a flop so this may not be the real answer. But, he surely raises a good point.

Bruno Wu continues to interest us

Sun Business Network continues to shuffle the decks and keep us interested with an announcement, just days after previous deals were cancelled, that it has sold 82.8% of its education subsidiary, Auston International, to a Chinese education group, Wuhan Hong Bo Group.

Copyright protection extended to Internet in China.

Abuse of intellectual property - piracy, theft, call it what you will - is a fundamental business challenge for all media companies doing business in China. The Hong Kong Trade Development Council reports on its web site that 30th May say the implementation of new administrative measures to protect IP on the Internet in the mainland.

The new regulations won't stop the pirates. You can be sure of that. It will, though, give copyright owners at least some basis on which to go after the more egregious abusers if they want to. The TDC article does, though, raise somew questions about just how vigorous the authorities will be in applying the new regulations:

The measures clearly spell out the administrative and legal responsibilities of Internet service providers in relation to copyright. Since Internet service providers have difficulty verifying everything provided by the Internet content providers, they should not be made to bear too heavy a legal responsibility for Internet copyright infringements.

Monday, May 30, 2005

CMP shutters tech magazines in Singapore

With the following announcement, CMP Asia has announced that it is closing its Singapore-based technology publications:

Dear subscriber,

We regret to inform you that CMP Business Media Pte Ltd will cease publication of Asia Computer Weekly, Network Computing Asia and Teledotcom wef May 31, 2005.

The May 2005 issues of NC Asia and Teledotcom are the last. The final issueof ACW is the May 16 - 31 issue. CMP will continue to provide Asiantechnology news on

Thank you for your patronage.
Yours Sincerely,
Ben Chong
Associate Publisher
CMP Business Media

This means that there are now no mainstream technology titles trying to address the Asian market on a regional basis.

Haloscan commenting and trackback have been added to this blog.

China blogging

As technology magazines have traditionally straddled the B2B/consumer divide, so do their electronic equivalents. As blogging begins to emerge in China, it will be interesting to watch how ventures in this arena become commercialised. Edwyn Chan's blogkumedia site (Chinese language only) is an early player in this area and his consumer electronics blog looks as though it may well fall into areas traditionally occupied by B2B and technology publishers.

We have seen estimates of up to 50 blog hosts behind the 'Great Firewall of China'. They have been credited in some quarters with having fuelled the fires of recent anti-Japanese protests. The political and commercial potential of the Internet will continue to vex the Chinese authorities in this as in other areas.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Change needed in Japan, FIPP told

The international magazine publishers' association, FIPP, met last week in New York. The organisation reports in its e-newsletter on comments by Yukoh Kawamura, the CEO of Nikkei Business, Japan's most important B2B publisher. He talks of Nikkei's Mag-Net strategy to bolster falling magazine sales and draw business back to the company with a multi-media net, newsletter, magazine and events strategy.

Kawamura also has interesting comments on the relative ease for international companies to enter the Japanese market using new technologies, saying:

In the past, Japan’s publishers have been somewhat ‘protected’ from foreign entry because of the language barrier and also because of Japan’s unique distribution system. This has all changed with the advent of the internet.

Friday, May 27, 2005

Over 24 million blogs in Asia

The Blog Herald reports that there are now over 60 million blogs. Of these, it claims, some 24.35 million are in Asia.

Japan: 3.35 million blogs
confirmed here first through a Japan Today report and now by Steve Rubel 3 days later.

China: 4 million
NY Times 24 May

South Korea: 15 million
new reports are still difficult to get out of South Korea, so I’m using the same figure as last month. Give how high it is a can’t see a huge amount of growth left in South Korea for blogs.

Other Asia (Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and the Phillipines): approx 1 million
mixed reports and no firm figures so again I’ve stuck with last months figures. What I have managed to stumble on to is some really good blogs coming out of these countries and vibrant blogging communities, but alas no figure.

India/ Pakistan: approx 1 million
no firm figures however I’ve noticed a significant rise out of India recently, and certainly the Indian press is also reporting on the emergence of Indian blogs, which is a sure sign that there must be a reasonable number there.

Bruno Wu is keeping us on our toes

The following summary is taken from BSG's weekly e-newsletter (for sign-up, you can visit our home page at www.bsgasia.com. A special prize to any reader who can unravel the extraordinary shuffling of cards that has been going on at Sun Business Network (formerly Panpac Media) in Singapore since it was acquired by Bruno Wu.

Singapore, May 26: Sun Business Network (SunBiz, née Panpac Media) has announced its intention to issue shares on NASDAQ and/or other public markets outside Singapore, and potentially privatising its shares on the Stock Exchange of Singapore. SunBiz has appointed Hong Kong-based investment banking firm FB Gemini Capital as its financial advisor to explore these alternatives, to decide the placement format of shares on any foreign exchanges and/or involved in a delisting, as well as placement agent for the transaction.

“Meanwhile, the deal to inject Asia Multi-Media Technology into NASDAQ-listed SE Global Equities is still proceeding. We will make an announcement at the next milestone,” said Bruno Wu, SunBiz’s Executive Chairman.

Singapore, May 25: SunBiz has signed a 5-year content distribution agreement with Stockstar.com to distribute its China Business Post online to 7.5 million stockstar.com registered member. Chen Xiaotao, CEO of SunBiz said that the cooperation has the potential to bring in S$15-20 million (US$9-12 million) in annualized revenue. Stockstar.com, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Shanghai Meiling Computer Technology Computer Ltd, is one of China’s leading vertical financial portals serving stock traders and business people.

SunBiz also announced that Chauncey Shey has been appointed as Vice Chairman and Executive Director. Shey was co-founder of UTStarcom Inc and StarCom Network System, and was serving as CEO and President of Softbank China Holdings Pte and Softbank China Venture Corp prior to joining SunBiz.

Singapore, May 20: Last Friday, SunBiz announced the termination of the proposed divestment of an interest in its educational subsidiary, Auston International Group Ltd. SBN proposed the sale of Auston’s interest to Ethe One Ltd., Tan Choon Wee and Kim Eng Securities Pte Ltd. on 12 April 2005. Owing to the non-fulfilment of the conditions in connection with the proposed divestment, both parties agreed to terminate the agreement on 20 May 2005.

We wrote a commentary on all this for EPS Insights (subscription required to access this) a few months ago and have been watching more closely than most but still have trouble keeping up.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Foreign investment in Indian media heating up

Your will come across very few web sites more packed with ads than India's exchange4media.com. In one of today's stories, the site reports that foreign investment in Indian media hit Rs150 crores in the first four months of the year. That's 30% more than for the whole of 2004 and, for those of you not so well versed in your lakhs and crores, around $37.5 million. Small change by comparison to some of this year's transactions in the US and Europe, and not much of it focused on B2B media, but an interesting sign of where things are going in this market.

Blogging at the extremes of Asia

Word on blogging from two of the extremes of our Asia/Pacific territorytoday with a lengthy piece in USC Annenberg's Online Journalism Review about how online forums and bloggers have become vital media outlets in Bahrain. Meanwhile, down-under the Australian newspaper reports that the behemoth of the Australian internet, nine msn (a possibly unholy alliance between Kerry Packer's Channel 9 and Microsoft) is claiming 100,000 users after a month online for its bloggers home Spaces.

New Vice Chairman for Sun Business Network

Sun Business Network Sun Business Network Ltd (nee Panpac Media) has hired the CEO of Softbank China, Chauncey Shey at Vice-Chairman and Executive Director. Shey has been closely involved in many of Softbanks b2b investments in China including Alibaba.com. As it completes the conversion of Panpac into SBN and a China play and having just had to issue a lengthy explanation to the Singapore Stock Exchange for variances between its financial statements and public announcements, Sun will need all Shey's experience.

Blog bubble talk...before Asia even starts

It has happened awfully fast and we're beginning to wonder whether this is 2000 all over again. The talk today is all of the blog bubble. Will it burst before Asia even really gets starts? Kevin Maney evokes Monty Python in his USA Today colum Once blogs 'change everything,' fascination with them will chill.

Heather Green picks up on Maney comments in a thoughtful post on her Business Week blog.

The main difference with 2000, it seems is that there isn't a whole lot of silly money in blogs yet. So, what's to burst other than a few journalistic egos?

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

View the B2B world from Europe

From Berlin, Hugo E. Martin's blog on Media, Marketing & Internet is the first in the world to pick up on our new initiative. Thanks for that Hugo....and no surprise for your close interest in Asia.

Hugo's blog, a bilingual, European view of the B2B media world makes an interesting change of perspective from the predominantly US vantage point of most bloggers on this industry.

Diener moves to Macau

Important movements in the exhibitions industry in China with Shanghai SNIEC's Wolfram Diener moving to the new Venetian project in Macau. This is reported in a Las Vegas Sands Corp press release Las Vegas Sands Corp. Expands Macao Management Team.

Who controls the content?

David Shaw in his B or not 2B--A Business Media Blog has picked up an issue engaging the minds of business media in the US these days but which is ever present in Asia in different forms: the willingness of advertisers to protest editorial content by withdrawing their business. Several leading Hong Kong newspapers suffer from long-standing 'no ad' policies by local property developers who object to their editorial stance. This is often as much to do with sensitivities about mainland China politics as it is about unfavourable editorial coverage of the companies themselves although the principal is the same.

A strong editorial in Advertising Age also takes to task those companies and their advertising agencies who are pushing these new policies.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Edward Tian talks up China broadband

Speaking to Hong Kong's American Chamber of Commerce, China Netcom CEO, Edward Tian, waxed lyrical on the impact Broadband is having on China. 1 million new broadband subscribers are being added every month in the country now, he said, taking the total up above 24 million. He foresees big changes in the way technology is used as critical mass is achieved and forecasts a bright future for IP TV and the convergence of media companies and broadband service providers.

Congress Speakers - Santosh Goenka

Congress Speakers - Santosh GoenkaBSG India partner Santosh Goenka will be speaking this week at the 35th FIPP World Magazine Congress in New York City.

Other distinguished B2B specialists on the panel include Helen Alexander, Chief Executive of The Economist Group, Michael Marchesano President & CEO of VNU Business Media, Harold McGraw III Chairman, President and CEO of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Hugo Shong President/Asia-China, IDG and Claus Wuestenhagen CEO of Vogel Business Medien.

Click here to take you directly to BSG's home page. Posted by Hello

Share price movement

Global Sources regained some of the losses of the past two weeks to record the biggest gain of the week in our B2B Media Index, up 23.2%. Pan Pac Media, now Sun Business Network, continued to sink as the worst performer in the index this week, down 7.7%.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Another company we learned about in China

One of the frustrations of following business media in Asia is that so
many of the companies are so small. Increasingly, though, we come
across news about companies in mainland China which have already grown
quite large. Financeasia.com prints an interview today with the founders of Beijing United Media Information. Already a $10 million company, Beijing United publishes business information, directories and databases.


Business media in Asia is evolving very quickly. Many interesting things are happening around the region. My company, Business Strategies Group, follows this every day and this BLOG is designed for those of you who want more regular updates on what is happening than our weekly newsletter (sign up on the web site) allows.

Contact me directly whenever you wish. We welcome your comments.