Rolling Stone magazine relaunches in China

By Zhang Rui
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, January 30, 2021
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The double cover of the debut issue of Rolling Stone China. [Photo courtesy of PMC]

After a previous failure to enter the Chinese market, the leading American rock magazine Rolling Stone has relaunched in China.

The magazine's parent company Penske Media Corporation (PMC) announced a new partnership with YT Media, a Chinese media and an art company, to launch Rolling Stone China. Under a multiyear license, Rolling Stone China will feature original and syndicated content tailored to China's booming consumer market. It will also provide a new lifestyle brand for China's "Y-generation" and 600 million online music consumers, according to the company's press release.

Rolling Stone China's launch issue, which launched on Tuesday, features cover stars Zhang Chu, the veteran rocker, and Roy Wang, a Chinese heartthrob pop idol, as well as Paul McCartney and Taylor Swift in their "Musicians on Musicians" interview. This debut issue will be followed by a series of corresponding core products and experiences through platforms of the website, WeChat, Weibo, Bilibili, events, and quarterly print issues.

"The opportunity to share our content and experiences with our biggest fans in China is truly exciting," said Gus Wenner, president and chief operating officer of Rolling Stone. "This new partnership is a great way for us to show all that Rolling Stone has to offer on an international scale as we continue to grow."

"Today, with the support of Penske Media Corporation and the trust of Rolling Stone, I am honored to lead our young team to develop the business of Rolling Stone China," said Xu Ning, founder of YT Media in a statement. "We hope that through music, art, and love for this brand, Rolling Stone China will become the lighthouse of modern culture."

This is not the first time Rolling Stone has tried to enter the Chinese market. In 2006, Rolling Stone made its debut in China featuring the godfather of Chinese rock 'n' roll Cui Jian on the cover. The debut issue sold 125,000 copies. However, it failed in the Chinese market and violated various China publishing regulations. It withdrew from China one year later. 

In 2017, PMC acquired Wenner Media that owns Rolling Stone. Its new partner in China, YT Media, is a global IP operation platform and cultural media company backed by Sun Wah Group and the UCCA Group. Rolling Stone China will establish headquarters in two Chinese cities --Beijing and Chengdu. This is also the first time an international media brand has established its headquarters in Chengdu, Sichuan province, which was recognized by its executives as an ambitious city with the potential to become a new center of music and fashion.

Other PMC titles with Chinese editions include WWD China, Variety China and Robb Report China.

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