Chinese Financial News Pioneer Caixin Media Starts Charging Readers for its Quality & Professional News Service

摘要: In the transition wave of traditional Chinese media, Caixin is definitely not the most successful one in terms of profitability. However, it is absolutely the only one that dares to constantly roll out new products and adjust its strategic structures.

(Chinese Version)

In the transition wave of traditional Chinese media, Caixin is definitely not the most successful one in terms of profitability. However, it is absolutely the only one that dares to constantly roll out new products and adjust its strategic structures. On the evening of October 16th, Caixin surprised everyone when it announced that it would charge readers throughout its platform and launched Caixin Pass.

It’s quite a bold move, especially in the Chinese media circle. According to Caixin’s announcement, besides Caixin Data Plus and Caixin Global, two products that have already been charging users a certain amount of money, Caixin.com’, Caixin’s largest free news website, will also begin to charge users in a certain period of time. Although our respondent from Caixin revealed that the paid service should be enabled on Nov.6th, Caixin.com has actually already been testing paid reports since October, 2017. More specifically, some reports are free to read for the first 48 hours, but limited to paid users after this period.

It is stated in the announcement that the transfer had already started. At present, readers who subscribed for Caixin Weekly (Digital) could not only become Caixin’s paid users, but also seamlessly become the paid users of Caixin Pass (which is normally 498 yuan per year) three weeks later.

This is the first time Caixin transitioned its business model within eight years. Since its foundation in 2009, Caixin has been dedicated to providing professional and in-depth financial and economic news coverage. This recent move marks a leap forward in its transition. In a letter to its readers, Caixin explained that the transition would enable Caixin to be able to better target its users and provide original financial and economic news contents of higher quality.

More specifically, Caixin Pass includes four types of exclusive content services: Weekly Pass, Caixin Pass, Data Pass and English Pass. Weekly Pass means readers can access all the contents in Caixin Weekly, while Caixin Pass includes all the rights of Weekly Pass and adds to Daily News Push. Data Pass includes all the rights of Weekly Pass and Caixin Pass, while English Pass means not only all the contents from Caixin Global, but also all the rights of Weekly Pass and Caixin Pass.

According to Kang Weiping, vice president of Caixin Media and head of the Operation Department, paid news on Caixin.com will either be totally limited to paid readers or free to all readers for the first 48 hours. However, regular news, videos, pictures, blogs and comments will continue to be free to readers. Therefore, Caixin shall tag different types of news for convenience sake, so that readers will have a clearer idea.

An insider revealed to TMTPost that at present, user-end income still accounted for less than 10 per cent of Caixin’s income and ads remain a major source of its income.

Influenced by free news portals such as Sina, Chinese internet users have been accustomed to free contents for a long period of time. Therefore, few Chinese media dare to charge readers a certain amount of money. In this case, Caxin is one of the first ones to eat the crabs.

For the past few years, Caixin Media, under the leadership of Hu Shuli, has quickly won its unique market position and user recognition due to its unique and indepdent news reports. This might lay a solid foundation based on which Caixin dares to test the water. However, there aren’t many media as bold as Caixin in the Chinese media circle.

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[The article is published and edited with authorization from the author @TMTPost-Chinese Please note the source and hyperlink when reproduce.]       

Translated by Levin Feng (Senior Translator at PAGE TO PAGE), working for TMTpost.  

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