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Rolling Stone to launch in mainland China early next year
2005-11-23 02:20:25 THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

HONG KONG, Nov. 23(AP) -- One of the leading chroniclers of U.S. popular culture _ Rolling Stone magazine _ is taking on the next frontier _ China.

The monthly has licensed Hong Kong-based One Media Group to publish a Chinese-language edition in the mainland, One Media Group Chief Strategy Officer Robby Yung told The Associated Press on Wednesday.

The target launch date is the first quarter of next year, Yung said.

He said the mainland Chinese edition, printed in simplified Chinese characters commonly used in China, will contain a mix of local content written by a mainly Beijing-based staff and translations of pieces from the U.S. edition.

Given Rolling Stone's U.S. emphasis, "the trick is to see how you can balance that with popular culture from China or from Asia, as well as popular music," Yung said.

He declined to say how much money was being invested in the magazine edition, and he wouldn't discuss the terms of the licensing agreement. But Yung said Rolling Stone will receive part of the net revenue. He didn't provide circulation figures.

He expressed confidence that Rolling Stone's high-quality reporting will impress readers in China.

"It's not a pop culture gossip magazine. It's not a music magazine. One of the things about the magazine that I think has always really helped it to stand head and shoulders above other people is the quality of the editorial, the journalism, as well as the photojournalism, iconic cover photos (and) award-winning writing," he said.

Yung said One Media is collaborating with Rolling Stone on the content.

"It's still their brand name and their trademark, so of course they have a right to look at the content, and we work closely together with them because we want to make sure that we're faithful to the spirit of the brand," he said.

Rolling Stone may expand to Taiwan and Hong Kong later, Yung said.

One Media also publishes mainland Chinese editions of Popular Science, the car magazine Top Gear, Digital Camera and the gadget magazine T3.

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