Writer walks tightrope of the censors in magazine


Priscilla Jiao

Han Han looked for a publisher for his new magazine for a long time. He said he was trying to put out a product that was censored as little as possible, and he needed a publisher who shared that view.

One publisher said no to a cover of a gun-toting nude man with his private parts covered by a logo of the magazine, placed as such to pass censors.

In a speech he gave at Xiamen University, he said the publisher had told him: ‘Now you’ve covered up the midriff. That’s a deliberate pun on ‘Party Central Committee’.’ Both are dangzhongyang in pinyin. Click here to read more »

Jessica Rudd on Life Matters with Richard Aedy

Life is full of funny coincidences, but sometimes when real events imitate art it can be a very spooky experience.

Jessica Rudd is the daughter of Kevin Rudd, who was recently deposed as prime minister by Julia Gillard.

About a year ago Jessica started writing a book based on what happens when a fictional male prime minister is similarly unseated, in this case by his female treasurer.

Through the excitement of publishing her first book, Jessica has also had to deal with the hurt and disappointment her Dad and her wider family has suffered.



Campaign Ruby

The Sydney Morning Herald

Emma Young


Rudd is not a name associated with chick lit. Political ascendancy followed by an unfair shake of the sauce bottle is brought to mind, but high heels, the sisterhood and romantic mishaps aren’t. One Rudd family member is seeking to diversify the family name.


Jessica Rudd, daughter of the former prime minister Kevin Rudd, has done what many ex-lawyers (and lawyers) threaten to do. She has written a novel. The 26-year-old was encouraged, she says, by her “mum’s loving nagging”.

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The Godmother of Chinese Designers

August 15, 2010

Wall Street Journal

By Li Yuan

The term China’s Oprah has been used for several female media personalities, but Hung Huang may be the one that comes the closest.

Chinese publisher, author, blogger, TV personality and actress, Hung Huang has now opened a store featuring Chinese designs.

Ms. Hung, chief executive of China Interactive Media Group, runs a fashion magazine, has hosted several TV talk shows, starred in a movie, published three books and writes a personal blog that’s attracted roughly 112 million hits and a microblog that’s followed by some 832,000 fans.

Now she wants to sell clothes too.

Betting that the growing wealth and sophistication of Chinese consumers will help cultivate China’s own Cartier or Louis Vuitton, she’s investing her own money and using her celebrity status to promote local brands.

On Sunday, she opened a new store to showcase and sell Chinese designs, called Brand New China (BNC), in a mall in Beijing’s hip Sanlitun area, where Armani and Versace are upstairs neighbors. Products of more than 100 designers, from clothes, accessories to furniture, will be sold on consignment in the 540-square-meter store. Many of the same designers are featured in iLook, Ms. Hung’s magazine, and there’s a potential pay-off for the magazine if local designers grow and have bigger advertising budgets.

Advertisements of the local brands now contribute less than 5% of the revenue of iLook, which has a circulation of 50,000 with a cover price of 50 yuan ($7.46).

“The other fashion magazines are just publications. They’re bystanders. Huang is different. She gets very involved,” says Simon Wang, the U.K.-educated designer whose women’s wear collection is sold at BNC.

Investors in BNC are China Interactive Media Group, Ms. Hung and a couple of her friends, including Yung Ho Chang, the head of the architecture department at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Mr. Yung also designed the store and debuted his men’s wear collection there on Sunday.

It’s not yet clear if the business strategy will work. Ms. Hung has had a mercurial career across various fields in both business and media and not all her projects have panned out. She had to lay off most of the staff at an Internet venture after the dotcom bubble burst and shut down the Chinese version of teen magazine Seventeen because it wasn’t performing financially.

Meanwhile, the Chinese public is fascinated by Ms. Hung’s personal brand, her family background, and her tongue-in-cheek commentary that offers a glimpse into the world of China’s privileged class.

At 49, Ms. Hung has lived her life as an avant-garde figure in China. Her late mother was Mao Zedong’s English translator and teacher, and her late stepfather was China’s foreign minister in the 1970s. At 12, in the middle of the Cultural Revolution, Ms. Hung was sent to the Little Red School House, a progressive school in New York City’s Greenwich Village, on a government program to train future diplomats. She got a political science degree at Vassar College, worked for the U.S. consulting firm Kamsky Associates Inc. and became the chief representative of German conglomerate Metallgesellschaft AG in China at the age of 25, earning $75,000 a year when most Chinese were making a fraction of that.

She has been married three times, to an American lawyer, a Chinese director and a French diplomat. She now lives with her long-time interior designer boyfriend and an adopted daughter in the suburbs of Beijing.

In 1996, Ms. Hung, who claims to like oversize T-shirts and haute couture equally, joined a Beijing investment and consulting company, Standard International Management Corp., and remains a partner. It is one of several backers of China Interactive Media Group, which publishes iLook.

She calls the relationship between her company and Chinese designers a weak-weak alliance. Unlike the Chinese editions of Vogue, Elle and Cosmopolitan, iLook doesn’t have access to globally franchised content or long-established ties with luxury brands. The designers are young, creative talents who lack the funding and experience to build businesses and brands. “[The Western fashion magazines] eat the meat, and we get the soup,” she says.

But the soup might turn out to be pretty meaty. China’s luxury-goods market is expected to grow by 15% in 2010, leading the global market, according to a report by consulting firm Bain & Co. Big fashion brands like Chanel are using more Chinese models at their runway shows, and Liu Wen, a Chinese model, became the first Asian face of Estee Lauder earlier this year. Many believe the timing is ripe for China to have its own Issey Miyake and Rei Kawakubo, the Japanese designers.

Ms. Hung became fascinated by Chinese designers about five years ago when she saw fashion designs by Wang Yiyang. Branded as “Chagang,” or Tea Mug, Mr. Wang’s designs use elements from the much simpler era of the 1970s, such as a white enamel mug with thin blue rims and tote bags with large print characters such as “Shanghai” or “Beijing.”

“This designer managed to bring the fashion sense of my childhood to the 21st century. I was deeply touched,” she writes in the Editor’s Note in the March issue of this year, which was dedicated to Chinese designers.

Unlike Oprah, Ms. Hung says she’s not expecting to become a top businesswoman with her magazine or the design store. It’s possible that her new business venture will be the guinea pig that gets into the game too early and bigger companies with stronger financial muscle can easily launch copycat stores if they find it lucrative, she says. In the future, even if the designers have more advertising money to spend, they might opt to spend on the bigger name Western magazines than iLook.

Ms. Hung isn’t worried. She’s in it for the money, but also for fun, another step in her “Sweet, Aimless Life,” the title of one of her books.

—Li Yuan is managing editor of Chinese WSJ.com, the Chinese edition of The Wall Street Journal Online.



陈冠中去年出版小说《盛世》,以虚构手法写出他对中国社会政治的观察及预言。这个香港人,移居北京十余年,一个原因是可以与朋友在饭桌上谈国家大事。这个 香港人,宁波祖籍,普通话说得不错,既会说“揣着明白装糊涂”和“泡妞儿”,也懂得去年网络热门词汇“被”的含义。2010年香港书展,陈冠中被邀请回到 香港,用广东话与香港读者谈国家大事,谈比“小说更魔幻”的中国。本文整理自陈冠中与刘细良讲座之发言部分。标题为编辑所加。

我自己在内地十几年,1992年到1994 年就在北京住过,然后2000年开始再到北京住。有时有人会问我,中国内地现在怎么样啊?大部分人都会问我,究竟你们香港人怎么看内地啊?我次次都不知道 该怎么说,他们总以为一两句可以讲完。我觉得很难解释的一个原因,是中国作为一个大国是很复杂的。 Click here to read more »

Un auteur chinois pirate son roman de SF pour le diffuser dans tout le pays

Une critique sociale au vitriol très controversée qui n’épargne ni les dirigeants, ni les citoyens

La science-fiction politique ou de critique sociale est quasiment absente en Chine. Non pas que la science-fiction ne soit pas un genre apprécié (on trouve tous les sous-genres de SF) mais plutôt qu’il ne vaut mieux pas se risquer à une critique sociale ou politique même sous couvert de science-fiction.

Chine 2013, un roman très controversé Click here to read more »