Magazine by popular China blogger shuts down

SHANGHAI- One of China's most famous and controversial bloggers Han Han on Tuesday announced he was shutting down his magazine "Party" after just one issue, but denied the move stemmed from a dispute over content.
Han, a 28-year-old writer and amateur champion race-car driver famous for his witty, scathing critiques of China's corrupt officials and social issues, unveiled the first issue of his literature-themed magazine in July.

The second issue, originally due to hit shelves in late August, was postponed. Han told state media in September that he had been unable to find a publisher.
In announcing the folding of the magazine, Han said on his blog that while he had made deals with both a publisher and a printing house, he had been abruptly informed by those partners that their cooperation had to cease.
"After prudent consideration... I have decided to freeze and seal up the 'Party' indefinitely and dissolve the team," he said, adding that the move had nothing to do with any official complaints about the magazine's content.
The blogger was not available for further comment when contacted by AFP.
"This bottle of wine was prepared by Han Han to celebrate the publication of the second edition, but now it has to be sealed up for several years," Ma Yimu, an editor of the magazine, wrote Monday in a blog post on Sina's Weibo.
Han has achieved phenomenal fame in the country's tightly monitored cyberspace. He has accumulated more than 440 million hits on his blog, easily making it the most popular in China -- and perhaps even in the world.
A top-earning author with a dozen titles under his belt, Han was named by Time magazine as among the world's 100 most influential people, grouping him alongside US President Barack Obama and pop star Lady Gaga.
State media said all 500,000 copies of "Party", which included articles by other writers, were sold just a few days after its release, but Han put the total sales at 1.5 million.
Han shot to fame in 2000 after he published "The Triple Gate", a novel based on his own experience as a school drop-out in Shanghai that mocked China's rigid education system.
Han himself admits that he abides by the rigid -- if unwritten -- rules to ensure that his voice continues to be heard.
But he told the China Daily in September that many publishing houses were unwilling to publish a magazine run by him out of fear that he is "beyond control".

Tuesday, December 28th 2010

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