that’s OC

I love a good West Coast badly-acted 30-nothing playing emotional-car-crash teenagers in expensive lifestyles, like The OC. The That’s Magazine drama isn’t good tv. The nightmare publisher situation was news back in June. Today the founder of the magazine made an announcement explaining why he sold the websites to AsiaXpat, and maybe providing some of the other side of the story to my previous post.

I’m just part of the audience. I just read the magazines, use the websites, and am thankful there is something in China like this. I don’t want to know what goes on in the office, and really I don’t understand too much of what has happened. I am quite conscious as a reader the effect this all has had on how I perceive the magazine. Whenever I pick up a new issue, or go to the website, it’s not without thinking something nasty happened in the woodshed

From the previous owner and operator of that’s websites. 22 December 2004

The transfer to Asiaxpat of that’s domain names, the websites, and all information and data contained therein was made by me a few days ago. Until that date my company was the legal owner and operator of the sites. That legal ownership has now passed to Asiaxpat. The reason for the transfer is straightforward.

My company was the founder of all that’s magazines, (expect that’s China and, just in case you saw it, that’s Yangzhou) I personally was effectively the sole investor and built the magazines into what they are over the past seven years. I started the websites, mainly as an extra service to readers and useful adjunct to the magazines. My web team did an amazing job –for which I am deeply grateful –at building them into what I think is one of the best English language sites in China . About 60,000 of you registered users seem to agree. I am delighted that we made something that you like and can use.

In September 2004 (why does bad stuff always happen in September?) thanks to a co-ordinated effort between senior management in my Shanghai head office and some external parties, my company, and myself, were forced out of the business we had built. I was brought up in Wales , where at times like these one says: “There it was, gone.” Not much more I can say.

My company retained legal ownership and control of the websites. I had the option to struggle to keep them going, in what was clearly going to be a very difficult and confusing situation, or else to pass them onto a company who could look after them, develop them, and continue to give you, the users, the full benefit of them. I chose the second option, and the company is Asiaxpat.

I have every confidence that will do a great job with the sites. (Yes, I know there are some teething problems but those will soon be sorted out.) They have built a great network and service over the years and as a dedicated web based company, with a very similar target market, I think they are the best choice for you, the user.

All that remains is to say it has been a pleasure to serve you with the sites, I hope you continue to enjoy them in their new shape and form.

Mark Kitto
22 December 2004, Shanghai