One million words and a partridge in a pear tree

Posted by Reading Time: 4 minutes

Rather more than just a blog, another year passes at China Briefing…

Well, as many of our readers head off about now back home for Christmas and New Year festivities – safe journeys to you all – we’ll have a quick round up of the numbers here at China Briefing and what we did.

Blog vs. News
As you may have noticed, we’ve quietly dropped the blog identity. We’ve felt that blogging about China law and business, while often fun, isn’t representative of what we do. We’re in the business of serious comment on China business, and to do that properly and with integrity you need to have resources, to be in-country and to have access to our own people on the ground. Which we do, with over 150 staff assisting us across China from nine Dezan Shira & Associates offices. So this section of China Briefing has been re-branded as news. Other people can comment about comments – but it’s original content that counts, and that’s what we’re about. Hopefully you’ll see the distinction and appreciate the upgrade. The Blog is dead. Long live the News!

Numbers of China Briefing magazine printed in 2007
Did you know we produce a monthly magazine? We do, it has professional legal/tax content and a free subscription (well hey, it’s Christmas). You can access that here, and we’ll send the pdf to you free of charge each month. The print version is distributed around China, and this year we printed 261,700 copies. Online subscribers internationally to the pdf issue are over the 250,000 mark (but as a pdf it doesn’t show on search engine analytics, which kinda bugs us).

Numbers of China Briefing issues during 2007
Ten issues a year? Actually we produced 53 different issues of China Briefing magazine during 2007 – the ten English language issues plus issues in French, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese and Greek. If you want to subscribe to China Briefing in these languages, you can visit here. We’re hoping to add Arabic, Russian and Sanskrit from 2008 for our markets in the Middle East, Russia and India.

Published books in 2007
Yup, we also publish books. OK, mainly boring ones about China law and tax, but someone has to…China Briefing published eleven technical guides during 2007. That’s a second edition of our “Guide to Establishing Representative Offices,” a first and second edition of our guide to establishing WFOE’s, plus a translation in Spanish, a guide to establishing joint ventures, our “Guide to China’s Business Taxes” (two editions), a “Small-Medium Enterprise China Business Bible” and the history of Dezan Shira & Associates. You can view all these titles and access content descriptions here. In terms of sales: the metaphor descriptions “Hot Cakes” and “Stuff off a Shovel” apply.

Coming out in the first two months of 2008
Our guide to China M&A, a second edition of our JV guide, the 2008 China tax guide and five regional investment guides covering the entire country, before March.

Other media
Yes – there’s more!!!! The hard working production team at China Briefing is also responsible for the following:
China Expat magazine – daily blog, monthly print magazine / archives all about business travel and culture in China.

India Briefing magazine – like China Briefing, but curry flavored – our China-India bilateral website. Sort of like Hu Jintao goes to Bollywood, but even cooler.

Did we forget to mention Mongolia? Yes we did. You can check this out, as a labor of love: The magazine is the biggest selling English language monthly in the country, while the travel guide is out-selling Lonely Planet’s by a factor of 4-1. Really. Toktoy!

China Briefing’s Top Ten News Stories For 2007
These subjects, from the most visited down to number ten, generated the most individual views:

New catalogue for foreign direct investment (we scooped everyone by 24 hours)
China’s glass ceiling (on how it’s political system is beginning to prevent growth)
Software intangibles and the Olympics (problems with getting this in place)
Foreign analysts considering China plays as globally relevant (and why this is a mistake in a closed market economy)
The roulette wheel: Due diligence, due diligence, due diligence (The 6 D’s, and why they are important)
Yingkou Port in Northeast China (why it’s very much one to watch)
VAT rebates cancelled or reduced (the news and implications as it occurred)
China’s troubled skies (infrastructural and financing problems among it’s aviation industry)
Should manufacturers move inland to avoid processing trade restrictions? (we weigh it up)
China’s border with Vietnam (the implications for both countries as they open trade)

China Briefing’s most viewed magazine issues for 2007
The top three magazine issues in terms of downloads (readers) this year were:

November – Analyzing Chinese Financial Reporting
January – Individual Income Tax
and surprisingly, a classic issue from 2006:
Common Mistakes & Misperceptions When Investing In China – And How to Avoid Them
The past three years of China Briefing magazine archives can be viewed here.

The words
Well we didn’t attempt to physically count them all, but they’re well over a million. That’s about the equivalent of three Harry Potter novels…the thick ones. And while we may not be as popular as the Wizard from Hogwart’s, China Briefing’s books do outsell him in Hong Kong, where he manages 10,000 copies each volume. We do more with our technical guides there than he does of stories about magic; and thousands of our books sell internationally.

So there you have it, a year at China Briefing. Thank you to all our readers here on our daily news service, to all the subscribers to the magazine(s) and to all of you who bought our books. Next year will be a blast as well.

Finally – we wish you all a Very Merry Christmas – and here’s a partridge in a pear tree

Merry Christmas!!!

Best wishes from all at China Briefing.