Tuesday, March 17, 2009

China confidentially

An interesting move by the FT to launch its new China Confidential subscription-based website/newsletter in these trying times. You can get it free for 14 days before handing over any dosh. Editor James Kynge comments that "Through this website and newsletter, we aim over the next weeks, months and years to track and predict the meaningful trends that make China such a riveting phenomenon. We hope to bring to our readership of investors and business people every two weeks a collection of telling insights that identify the real trajectory of the Chinese economy, and its key constituent parts".

I noticed that my old friend Duncan Clark, the telecoms guru from BDA in Beijing, is given a column in which he talks about 3G in China and opines that "3G offers the potential to fuse China's love affair with the mobile phone with its growing addiction to the internet". You can also get access to an interesting BDA 'China Analyst Note' on the online advertising. That basic line is that "While growth is slowing from last year, we believe China’s online advertising market will still grow at a relatively impressive clip of 20% or so in 2009. More internet users and usage, continuing national economic growth, the growing influence of online media and the cost advantages of online vs. offline ads are all fuelling the sector’s development".

There appears to be no connection with the China Confidential blog which has been running since 2005. Competitors presumably include the China Economic Review.

Unless I'm being unusually thick (which is entirely possible), the FT appears to be rather coy about how much it will charge for this so-called "premium investment intelligence". With all the *ankers either leaving town or wondering how they're going to scrape by on the basic US$500,000 and no bonus (poor dears), we're not sure about their timing. But, you can't fault them for their chutzpah in trying in these conditions.

Update: I meant to link to Thomas Crampton's posting on this as he, as is so often the case, pointed me towards this new service. Even if Twitter did "out" him, he'll be a great addition to the Ogilvy team.

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