The House News
16th January, 2014
Shih Wing-ching: Chinese Companies Pull Million Dollar Worth of Ad from am730
Shih Wing-ching, founder of free newspaper am730, detailed in his column today (16th January) about Chinese companies pulling advertisements from his newspaper. Shih said that a number of Chinese companies stopped advertising in am730 simultaneously in November 2013. The total amount of their advertisements worth approximately US$1.2 millions. Shih said that the paper’s annual earnings are around US$1.2 to US$2.6 million, as multiple companies pulled their advertisements, the paper will loose most of its earnings, which affects the development of the paper as well as the bonus of its employees.
Shih also revealed that besides Chinese banks China backed telecom companies are amongst the advertisers that pulled their placements. “Their action was very coordinated, which indicates that there is one reason behind their action. This reason does not seem to be a business related one, otherwise banks would not have moved together with the telecom companies… I suspect this is related to political reasons.”
However, Shih stressed that am730 will not change its style and stance, and worse comes to worse, it will be closed:
I am someone who is loyal to my believes. Things that I do not understand, my mind will not tell my body to act on it. The things that I believe should do, as long as I can carry on, I will continue to do it. When there are no other solutions, I would rather quit than doing something that I do not wish to do.
Shih also thinks that the future of am730 is not gloomy and its stance fits what the society needs and the development of the industry. He is confident that the readership will grow, “we are capable of independent thinking, and do not obey to any political power. We do not have any intention to join the anti-government camp and become their propaganda machine.”
As a media, our function is to help readers to understand the truth. We do not twist the facts when we report because of our political stance. We would not selectively provide a certain types of information in order to influence our readers’ judgement… There are rooms for improvements, but we believe we have picked the right route. If we continue, we shall see good results. There is always room for a honest, pragmatic and independent newspaper to survive.