We just put our copy of China’s first Rolling Stone in a protective bag — it might be more of a collector’s item than we previously imagined. The Independent is reporting that less than one month after it’s debut, the popular glossy has been forced to stop publication:
The Shanghai bureau of the Government Administration of Press and Publications (GAPP), which keeps a close eye on new magazines for signs of dissent, said Rolling Stone had not fulfilled all the procedures to publish.
In recent months, government censors have clamped down on free expression in newspapers, magazines, websites and weblogs. Without being explicit, the watchdog hinted there was more to the decision to stop publication than a technicality. “It’s not simply a matter of procedure because, even if they handed in the right application, whether we would approve it remains a question,” said Liu Jianquan, a spokesman for GAPP. “So we have issued them a warning and told them to stop their illegal action.”
You would think that a major title like Rolling Stone would have jumped through the proper hoops before launching a Mandarin version to much fanfare. Other big names, like Vogue recently, seem to have figured the system out. China Herald wonders why Rolling Stone didn’t cover its back. Yesterday, Danwei reported “[i]n a phone interview with Danwei, Rolling Stone editor Hao Fang said that the second issue will be coming out, and that there are ‘misunderstandings’ going about.” Stay tuned (and take good care of that debut issue on your coffee table).
UPDATE: Many publications have run with this story. The Los Angeles Times also got a denial from the magazine’s editor:
“I can tell you with absolute certainty, it’s not true,” said Hao Fang, chief editor of Rolling Stone China. “The second issue of our magazine should be on newsstands in April.”