The WSJ in Chinese

There is something weirdly futuristic about first seeing the Wall Street Journal’s Chinese edition. It’s like a telegram from 2020.


  1. Michael Robinson says:

    I have a copy of the People’s Daily with a full page ad touting the glories of the Internet, in Chinese, from early 1995.
    That’s right.
    Gopher. Usenet. FTP. And something called the world wide web.
    If the last 11 years are any guide, I think it’s safe to say that a telegram from 2020 wouldn’t look like your screenshot, and, more to the point, probably wouldn’t even be comprehensible from a screenshot. If they’re even still using screens in 2020, that is.

  2. Michael —
    We’re talking at different levels of abstraction. I don’t mean stylistically — and certainly not the screenshot itself. I’m more entranced by the growth in importance of the Chinese market, to the point that perhaps it will be U.S. side of the WSJ’s global news business that will be the sidecar on WSJ 2020, not the other way around.

  3. Great post. This does say a lot about what is happening in the world. I am always saying that the Wall Street Journal is one of the very few western media outlets that gets things right on China so I am sure it will very quickly build up a big Chinese readership.
    China Law

  4. I´m starting my Chinese lessons next week! :)
    Looking forward to be able to read (in 1 year…) that newspaper!

  5. Michael Robinson says:

    Paul: “We’re talking at different levels of abstraction.”
    I realized that. It’s just that, from my admittedly biased viewpoint, the other level of abstraction is kind of trite. Sorry.
    In any case, there is a fascinating, page-turning, “I was there” account of Dow Jones’ early struggles in the Chinese market in Jim McGregor’s _One Billion Customers_, which serves as essential backstory to the Chinese edition of the Wall Street Journal.
    Highly recommended.
    “perhaps it will be U.S. side of the WSJ’s global news business that will be the sidecar on WSJ 2020, not the other way around.”
    That’s unlikely to ever happen, and certainly not in that timeframe. Not because of the relative importance of the respective markets (and even that’s open to debate), but because the WSJ will face stiff competition in the Chinese market from local players, e.g., Caijing:
    (The Caijing story is also well covered in _One Billion Customers_.)