Chinese Version of the New York Times Officially Launched

August 7, 2012

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. launch (v.)
[lawnch, lahnch] – to start a new service or introduce something new to the public
Example: CNN launched a new program on its TV channel.

2. swell (v.) [swel] – to grow bigger
Example: The number of social network users has swelled in the past few years.

3. tap into (phrasal v.) [tap in-tuh] – fully get benefits or profit from something
Example: Facebook is studying how to effectively tap into the Japanese and Chinese market.

4. censorship (n.) [sen-ser-ship] – the act of preventing the publication or the showing of things that are considered offensive, dangerous, or threatening
Example: The government uses strict censorship on violent shows in daytime TV.

5. tailor (v.) [tey-ler] – to make or to change something so that it meets a specific purpose, goal or rule
Example: The TV show was tailored so that it can be watched by children.

Read the text below.

The New York Times recently launched a Chinese version of its website in hopes of attracting educated readers from China’s growing middle class population.

Currently, there are about 500 million Internet users in China. The number is expected to swell in the next few years. With such a big market in China, Internet companies are eager to tap into the huge profit from Internet advertising in the country.

In 2011, for example, China’s largest search engine company, Baidu, had 80% increase in profits from advertising.

As for the NY Times, international companies Salvatore Ferragamo and Cartier have already agreed to advertise on NY Times’ Chinese website, while other companies are sure to follow.

The potential for profit convinced the NY Times to launch its Chinese website despite China’s strict media censorship. Joseph Kahn, foreign editor of the NY Times, says the company is not going to tailor website content or news according to the demands of the Chinese government.

Mr. Kahn says the NY Times cannot control what the Chinese government puts under censorship. But Mr. Kahn adds that the NY Times expects and hopes that the Chinese government would welcome the new website.

Unfortunately, there are already some signs of censorship from the Chinese government. The NY Times Chinese website made four accounts in popular Chinese social media services that work like Twitter. However, three of these accounts became inaccessible only a few hours after the new website was launched.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A

·         Do you think it is a good idea for popular US newspapers to have international versions? Why or why not?
·         What English websites do you like reading international/foreign news from? Why do you like these websites?

Discussion B

·         Should people have access to news without censorship from the government? What makes you think so?
·         Are there situations where censorship of media is necessary? Please explain your answer.

August 7, 2012