City Weekend’s parent company has announced that it plans to close its Beijing operations at the end of the month after 19 years of covering the city.
Ringier China, a Swiss-based media company that owns City Weekend along with several other publications in China, announced its decision on Monday in a post on City Weekend’s website, saying that “with great optimism” the November issue of City Weekend Beijing and Parents & Kids Beijing will be the company’s last.
“We have every hope that the print and online versions of these publications will continue far into the future with a close local partner we are currently in discussions with,” Ringier China added without giving any other details about the future of these magazines.
City Weekend Shanghai will continue doing business as usual (though Ringier did promise a “completely revamped website” coming soon). It’s unclear if employees at the company’s Beijing office will be transferred over to the head office in Shanghai.
This is yet another frightening sign for the few expat magazines still left in China. While expat “rags” used to be main way for foreigners living in major Chinese cities to find out about interesting events and goings-on, more and more, people are now simply picking up that kind of info online or through social media.
Earlier this year, Ringier China also shut down its Shenzhen and Guangzhou branches of City Weekend. Last year, Smart Beijing suddenly called it quits after three years of coverage on the Beijing music, dining and nightlife scene. “The cool circumstance of modern love, warfare, and business is you’ve got to make money to survive. And we didn’t really make any,” the site explained.