LONDON — LGBTQ title Attitude Magazine is launching a Chinese edition in partnership with Xicun Media, a new publishing house founded by former Condé Nast China group publisher Paco Tang and his partner Fan Li, ex-marketing director of Mini China.
To avoid potential censorship over LGBTQ content in China, as sexual orientation is still not a publicly discussed topic, the Chinese edition will focus on the broader concept of diversity, lifestyle content, talent showcase and success stories.
That said, normalizing the Chinese LGBTQ community in a constructive manner will be its main goal in the next few years, said Li, who will be Attitude China’s editor in chief.
“Our editorial mission is that we want to show our friends and family, and maybe everyone else that our community in many ways is no different to the rest of the Chinese society. We share the same values, we pursue the same goals and we enjoy the same things. We are not all party animals, and not all of us dress in particular fashions,” he said.
“We want to spotlight people, showcase their exceptional talent and taste, and celebrate their success within their industry. For the moment, we won’t focus on producing sexy images or personal and social issues that are unique to the LGBTQ community. It doesn’t mean we don’t care, it’s just that it is not the right time to publicly discuss them in China yet,” Fan added.
It’s estimated that the Chinese LGBTQ community numbers more than 70 million, representing a $300 billion opportunity across industries, and Tang saw the potential in the sector.
“We are a member of this sizable community, and it struck me that there is no one providing dedicated content for us in China. Both Fang and I are readers of Attitude magazine, and I think their content, which focuses more on the human and spiritual pursuit, instead of selling sexual images, is a good fit with China’s current cultural and societal environment. So I reached out to them and soon confirmed the collaboration,” Tang said.
After spending almost a decade in fashion publishing, Tang said he is “a bit tired of them,” and wanted to explore media verticals that are absent in China.
“I have done so many big and well-rounded media. But for me, that’s not where the Chinese media is heading. Whether it’s the advertisers or the readers, now they much prefer niche verticals,” he added.
As soon as his non-compete with Condé Nast China expired in July, he launched his own publishing house and began to recruit the new team. Another global title’s Chinese edition operated under Xicun Media will be revealed next week.
Tang said Attitude China will be officially launched by the end of October or the beginning of November.
Its content will be spread out across social media platforms. Fashion and lifestyle content will sit on the social commerce platform Xiaohongshu, talent showcase content on TikTok’s Chinese edition Douyin, while success stories will come in the form of long videos, which will be hosted on Bilibili. All original and syndicated content will be aggregated on its WeChat public account.
Attitude China also plans to host diversity forums and offline events to encourage communication between the Chinese LGBTQ community and broader society.