Ringier China puts focus on Myanmar and Vietnam, sells Chinese publishing portfolio

After a successful, long lasting period on the Chinese market, Ringier China will sell its operational business in China and handover to Ocean Strategies Advertising, led by Bromme H. Cole and ex General Manager Kenny Zhou by the end of 2017. 

After an extensive market and strategy analysis assessing long-term opportunities, Ringier has taken the decision to dispose of its Chinese assets. In the Asia-Pacific region, Ringier will concentrate its expansion entirely on Myanmar and Vietnam being markets where Ringier Asia is already successfully established and positioned with a well-digitised portfolio. 

Both South East Asian countries will remain key for Ringier Asia, with clear focus on expansion plans in publishing, directories and classifieds, aligned with Ringier’s core expertise and global strategy. 

Florent de Rocca Serra, general manager of Ringier Asia, said: “We have found with Ocean Strategies Advertising an ideal successor that will retain a strong interest in the success of the portfolio we have built over the last 15 years and further invest into its localisation to the Chinese market. They have a successful track record in China as entrepreneurs and are committed to work seamlessly with most of our teams and long-term partners. For Ringier as a whole, this strategic reassessment of its Asian operations will allow us to focus fully on our fast growing digital activities across South East Asia.” 

The sold Chinese publishing portfolio includes the leading English media publications in China City Weekend and its supplements as well as City Weekend Parents & Kids and Shanghai Family magazines. The digital portfolio includes the English language community sites cityweekend.com.cnshanghaiexpat.com and shfamily.com. 

Robin Lingg, group executive board member of Ringier, said: “We are adapting our business focus to the changing market conditions and customer needs underlining our determination of being a leading digital player wherever we do business. As a result, we have redefined our strategy for Asia. It is not an easy step to leave China after nearly three decades. But the bonds between Ringier and the Asian continent will remain close. We will maintain investing in emerging markets in Asia by further developing our publishing and digital portfolio in Vietnam and Myanmar.” 

Around 60 staff members of Ringier China Co. Ltd. in Shanghai and Beijing are affected by the decision to sell. 

“We are committed to fulfill our responsibilities to our employees and our partners until the very last day. At the same time, we want to express our thanks to everyone we’ve worked with for the successful and professional collaboration over the past decades”, added Geoff Ng, managing director of Ringier China.

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