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Rolling Stone launches Chinese edition

Copies quickly sell out in Beijing, with mix of Western and Chinese topics
/ Source: The Associated Press

Rolling Stone magazine has launched a mainland Chinese edition, bringing its mix of iconic photographs and pop culture features to an increasingly globalized Chinese readership.

Chinese rock pioneer Cui Jian — famed at home but largely unknown abroad — graces the cover of March's inaugural issue, which features translations from the English-language edition as well as content specially created for Chinese readers.

Topics range from U2 frontman Bono and the influence of rock music on ending the Cold War, to Taiwanese hiphop star Jay Chou, and the popularity of personal blogs among young, urban Chinese.

In a foreward, editor in chief Hao Fang reviewed the magazine's groundbreaking journalism and do-it-yourself mentality.

"From today onward, let us summon our readers that we may in the East also create a miracle worthy of this era," wrote Hao, who heads the editorial staff for licensee Hong Kong-based One Media Group.

In a telephone interview, Hao said the magazine was responding to growing openness among young Chinese and wanted to capitalize on Rolling Stone's strong brand.

"Our magazine will witness and guide them to realize their dreams," Hang said.

The mainland Chinese version is the 11th international edition of Rolling Stone, which celebrates its 40th anniversary next year.

Hang said the first issue had a print run of 120,000 — four times the initial projected circulation. Many newsstands around Beijing on Tuesday said they had quickly sold out their initial deliveries.

China is a growing market for Western pop culture, with artists from Elton John to the Four Tenors performing here in recent years, although Asian stars from Japan, South Korea and Hong Kong also enjoy widespread popularity.