Less than a year after Canada Wide Media launched a Chinese edition of its lifestyle magazine, it has pulled the plug and will dedicate resources to its more popular English edition.

By Tamara Baluja, Associate Editor

Canada Wide Media has pulled the plug on the Chinese edition of BCLiving less than a year after the magazine’s launch.

Industry watchers were cautiously optimistic when Canada Wide expanded BCLiving with two print editions last November—an English version published 10 times a year and a Chinese quarterly—targeting women ages 34 to 45.

While the English edition has done well, the Chinese market proved “a little bit more challenging to penetrate” than Canada Wide had anticipated, Tom Gierasimczuk, vice-president of editorial at Canada Wide Media, told J-Source.

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Instead, the company will focus its resources on the English edition of the lifestyle magazine.

“As with any successful business model, we must, as they say, harvest where the fruit is,” said Samantha Legge, president of Canada Wide Media, in a memo obtained by J-Source.  “And with BCLiving, the fruit is flourishing on a multi-platform level. It is through this opportunity that we’ve made a decision to discontinue BCLiving Chinese, effective immediately, to focus our resources exclusively on the BCLiving English product suite and further engage our audience across print, iPad, web, social and event platforms.

As a result, editor and co-publisher Kelly Bai will be leaving. 

Reviving the Chinese edition in the future is a possibility, Gierasimczuk said. “When you’re entering a new market, you need a few years as a runway before you can really take off,” he said. “But we found that the Chinese edition was taking away too many resources from the English edition, so we decided to double down at this time.”

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Tamara Baluja is an award-winning journalist with CBC Vancouver and the 2018 Michener-Deacon fellow for journalism education. She was the associate editor for J-Source from 2013-2014.