Al Jazeera Media Network today launched a news website in the Mandarin language, coinciding with the 17th anniversary of the Aljazeera.net website. The new Mandarin website will be the first of its kind from an Arabic news provider, targeting a Chinese population of one and half billion people.
The Mandarin website comes as part of Al Jazeera’s strategy to engage with Chinese audiences following the successful launch of its content on popular Chinese social media platforms Weibo, Meipai and WeChat. The project was overseen by Al Jazeera’s late bureau chief in Beijing, Dr. Ezzat Shahrour, who passed away on Saturday 23 December 2017.
Commenting on the launch, Dr. Mostefa Souag, Acting Director General of Al Jazeera Media Network said “Today we are witnessing another of Al Jazeera’s milestones in expanding our services to a large Chinese audience”. He further stated, “with the launch of Al Jazeera’s Mandarin website, we continue to increase our global reach with unique editorial content, while building bridges among cultures and enhancing the exchange of information, which our late colleague Dr. Ezzat Shahrour always sought to achieve through his television reports and his work as a Bureau Chief for Al Jazeera in China.”
Dr. Yaser Bishr, Al Jazeera’s Executive Director of Digital, said “The website aims to fill the media gap in China to build bridges between Arab and Chinese people. It will act as a gateway to more than 700 million internet users in China to promote values of tolerance, respect, rights, and liberties while adhering to professional principles.” He also added “This project comes as part of Al Jazeera’s digital strategy to reach our followers and audiences wherever they are.”
Mohammed Al Mukhtar Al Khalil, Manager of Al Jazeera Net website, said on the launch “The Mandarin website focuses on providing its Chinese audience with news from the Middle East as well as local and regional news. In the coming days, we will be launching a website in the Bahasa Indonesian language from Jakarta. We will be evaluating the success of these projects as we consider launching in new languages.”