FULL COURT PRESS INSIDE THE CHINESE-LANGUAGE NEWS
Mom-and-pop news websites are giving the veterans of Vancouver's Chinese-language press a run for their money
There’s a shakeup underway in Canada’s Chineselanguage press—and its epicentre is in Vancouver. Amid the riptide of digital disruption hammering traditional print business models, the emergence of social media platforms like Wechat and a demographic shift thanks to rising immigration from mainland China, the industry is in flux. Even as census data show that from 2006 to 2016, the Lower Mainland’s population of Chinese speakers climbed by 22 per cent, to some 385,000, print stalwarts like Ming Pao and Sing Tao have fought to attract new readers in an increasingly cutthroat market. World Journal, the other big local Chineselanguage newspaper, shuttered its Canadian operations in 2015. Filling the gap are upstart news websites, often mom-and-pop endeavours that rely heavily on Wechat to reach readers.
“It’s a bit of a free-for-all,” says Alex Wan, co-founder and managing director of Periphery Digital, a Vancouver-based marketing consultancy focusing on Chinese-canadians. “There are at least a dozen Chinese-based media companies, and nobody’s emerging as the champion.”
Haini Xiao, editor-in-chief of Lahoo.ca, is making a good run at it. Based in a strip mall in Richmond, Lahoo operates a website publishing about 20 posts a day, as well as a free weekly. Founded in 2013, it