Hu Shuli’s Successor at Caijing Confirmed; Views Diverge on Tumult

The Economic Observer is reporting that a few of its own may be taking over the helm of Caijing, following Hu Shuli’s departure:

Yesterday, He Li, the former editor in chief of China Business Weekly and one of the founding editors of The Economic Observer, confirmed that he had quit his current job but refused to provide further details to reporters from Sina Finance.

However, despite his reticence, Sina is reporting that he will indeed take up the position of editor in chief at Caijing.

The 47 year-old He once worked alongside Hu Shuli at China Business Times, the first privately-invested newspaper to be published in the People’s Republic of China. He worked there from 1989 to 2000, while Hu headed up the paper’s international department from 1992 to 1998.

He left the paper to help establish The Economic Observer in 2001, we he served as editor in chief and then president from 2001 to 2005.

Besides He, Zhao Li, another founding member of The Economic Observer, is also reported to have been appointed to Caijing’s new editorial board.

See also the Committee to Protect Journalists’ summary of recent events at Caijing.

Update: The Wall Street Journal has more details about Hu’s departure from Caijing which they gleaned from listening to the tapes of a recent staff meeting:

Now, details about the exodus are emerging from staff meetings, helping to explain the falling out between Ms. Hu and Wang Boming, the head of SEEC, the company that owns Caijing. Ms. Hu and Mr. Wang had founded the magazine together in 1998. The upheaval is being closely watched here and abroad, given the magazine’s ability to generate income and its willingness to push the limits of Chinese censors by publishing hard-hitting commentaries and investigative articles.

The differing accounts of the situation were reflected during staff meetings Tuesday and Wednesday, according to people present. Mr. Wang and other SEEC managers talked to the employees Tuesday, with Mr. Wang saying that the issue wasn’t philosophical differences with Ms. Hu.

[...] Mr. Wang was followed by Zhang Zhifang, a member of SEEC’s board… Mr. Zhang also said Ms. Hu’s reporters violated “reporting discipline” in covering ethnic riots in China’s western territory of Xinjiang in July.

Ms. Hu sent a team of reporters to Xinjiang but little of their work was published in print or on the Caijing Web site. Caijing’s coverage of the riots led to government criticism of SEEC.

On Wednesday, Caijing’s managing editor, Wang Shuo, who this week submitted his resignation, gave a rebuttal to the staff. According to staffers present, he said that after the Xinjiang riots, Caijing was handed an ultimatum by SEEC, essentially requiring the magazine to go to the parent company to vet any cover story, any controversial story or any story not having to do with finance and economics.

November 11, 2009 2:50 PM
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