National Geographic Digital Media (NGDM) and Sina.com, one of China's leading portal sites, have partnered to deliver National Geographic-branded content, translated into Chinese, on http://geo.sina.com.cn. The content will cover wildlife, natural history, travel and culture, science, space and the environment, particularly material that highlights local Chinese conditions and customs around the world.
National Geographic's partnership with Sina "complements" the National Geographic Society's "existing media endeavors in both television and print," said John Caldwell, president of NGDM, the multimedia division of National Geographic Ventures.
National Geographic magazine is published by Trends in China, and National Geographic Channel programming, such as "Wild Weekend" and "Wonderful Earth" is broadcast on Chinese television.
The Taiwanese native set up Google's operation in China four years ago. Although Google is popular among white-collar executives, it still lags far behind Baidu.com, the No. 1 search engine in China. Google has also found it hard to cope with the strict censorship issues facing all internet sites in China under the leadership of the Communist Party.
The weekly 30-minute show, a co-production with The Hollywood Reporter, features entertainment news and celebrity gossip in Mandarin.
"These shows are not simply knock-offs of traditional U.S. entertainment news shows," said Metan's VP of production, Rick Portin. They are "responsive and sensitive to the Chinese audience and culture."
"Western brand managers will find in our programming a very comfortable avenue and an efficient and unique way to reach Chinese consumers with their advertising messages," said Jean Zhang, managing director of Metan's operation in China.
Previously, he was business diresctor at Interpublic Group's direct marketing division, MRM Worldwide, in Beijing. Before that, he worked at Euro RSCG's digital department in Hong Kong.
Return to the Ad Age China home page here