Telum Talks To... Huang Junjie, Chief Editor / Partner, LatePost
What is the relationship between LatePost and CAIJING Magazine? How does LatePost find its positioning in the market?
CAIJING Magazine is a minority shareholder of LatePost. We initially focused on Big Tech in China and also provided in-depth reports as well as exclusive stories of the technology industry.
Nowadays, Internet companies have a much broader reach beyond their own core business. After decades of development, companies such like Tencent, Alibaba, Meituan, Didi, Beike, etc., have grown into giants and play a key role in their respective market, connecting all aspects of China’s economy. They are the most dynamic parts of the economy but also reflect the contradictions in our society.
In this context, we are expanding our news coverage to include more sectors, hoping to draw relevance from the ocean of information available on the public domain.
How’s the editorial team?
Our newsroom has 14 reporters and editors, and we are hiring. Several experienced journalists will be on board in a few weeks. We will have more desks specialising in different beats afterwards.
When it comes to WeChat accounts, the number of page views is always an unavoidable topic. What do you make of it as a pressure on publications?
News reports are never as attractive as emotional and sometimes provocative content. But we need to be aware that the audience can be shaped by what they read. Once we figure this out, we won’t be bothered by page views.
Every story we publish is well-edited. The quality is judged by the team, not page views. But we do think WeChat page view number is a more meaningful indicator compared to websites or news aggregators since most WeChat users read stories through links from their friends' feeds or groups, and they only share stories that are considered valuable or important.
What are the difficulties of creating news content on WeChat?
No matter what the type of media we are, the difficulties about covering news is always how you break the news and break the news that matters.
I think the limitation of building a media organisation on WeChat is mainly the restriction on the number of feeds we can publish on a daily basis and its commercialisation.
Recommend several WeChat public accounts that you're keen on?
Economic analysis from Xunlei Li or Hao Hong.
I tend to read longer-form content or even shorter rather than a typical WeChat news story. Longer content is like books, full video interviews or transcripts. Shorter ones are originally from tweets, financial terminal newsfeed or newsletters.
Any upcoming strategies of LatePost on the news agenda?
Most Chinese companies that are newsworthy have already gone public or been trying to do so. A series of unpredicted events have sent the market on a roller coaster. However, many financial news stories are either too long or too boring.
Regarding that, we launched LatePost Zao Zhi Dao (晚点早知道 in Chinese) on WeChat in August, focusing on daily IPO coverage. We will soon expand the coverage to include other sectors and present them on multiple channels other than WeChat. The proposition is to deliver clear, efficient and trustworthy information to our readers.
Meanwhile, LatePost will also develop long-form content and continue to cover important business news stories.