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Visitors try the e-book reader products of Chinese electronics manufacturer Hanvon/XINHUA

Focus on China

China current affairs app debuts in US

Visitors try the e-book reader products of Chinese electronics manufacturer Hanvon/XINHUA

BEIJING, Jun 5 – An iPad app that gives users a unique insight into the current developments going on in China made its formal debut in the United States at the BookExpo America on Monday.

China Digest, or iDigest, published by China International Publishing Group, offers a view into a changing China and targets readers interested in China’s current developments, as well as the latest comments and analysis by Chinese people on international affairs, said Maggie Yin, chief operating officer of China Report which produces iDigest.

“We will present China Digest’s debut in the US at BookExpo America, through product demonstrations, publicity materials distribution, and a small press seminar,” Yin said.

“China Digest is currently available on the iPad. We will soon also make it available for iPhone users as well as introducing an Android based application. It is now free on the Apple store, but after the current three-month trial period, a fee will be charged and the price has yet to be set,” Yin said.

As of June, over 10,000 people had downloaded the app, Yin said.

A reader Ali from the United Kingdom downloaded the app in March 2012 based on the recommendation of a friend.

“I read the stories on iDigest quite frequently as I always want to be updated on current news and trends. I like the stories that are posted on the app because they are full of useful information, and as a foreigner living in China, it gives me an insight into what is happening in the country,” Ali said.

Before iDigest, Xinhua News Agency, China’s state-run media agency, launched an all-inclusive mobile service on March 1, 2012, offering China’s news and information at global users’ fingertips.

“Many news agencies have developed their own apps, and I have also downloaded the Xinhua app. I also find the stories there extremely newsworthy and readable. I think that a wider variety of stories can help iDigest set itself apart from its main competitors,” Ali said.

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Bringing the stories to the foreign readers is the first step, but the key is to study the preferences and needs of the overseas readers and tell the stories in a way that is suitable and interesting, said Fang Jie, lecturer at the School of Journalism and Communication, Renmin University of China.

BookExpo America is the largest annual book trade fair in the United States. The event this year is being held at Jacob K. Javitz Convention Center of the New York City from June 4 to 7, 2012.


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