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Shanghaiist Website Shuts Down, Gothamist and DNAinfo Follow

CEO releases a letter closing all sites, future of Shanghaiist uncertain


Popular news website Shanghaiist has been abruptly taken offline early this morning. The Shanghaiist site redirects to a letter from US-based CEO Joe Ricketts, informing them his decision to shutter the New York newsrooms of DNAinfo and Gothamist. All associated domains also redirect to the letter. 

 

 

 

The letter Ricketts wrote states that it was a “difficult decision to discontinue publishing DNAinfo and Gothamist” claiming that the two websites were not successful enough to “support the tremendous effort and expense needed to produce the type of journalism on which the company was founded.”

 

Shanghaiist has more than five million Facebook followers and had average daily reads reaching as high as one million. Their extensive archive of China-centric news articles, sensational or otherwise, made Shanghaiist the Gothamist network’s most well-known website and a must-visit page for China watchers. 

 

 

Following the closure, many readers reached out on Twitter, tweeting their disappointment and directly to Managing Editor Kenneth Tan, @MrKennethTan, as Shanghai Expat reports. 

 

The following are Twitter responses to the closure of Shanghaiist, as seen on Shanghai Expat:

 

 

“Shanghaiist was my first media job, after @MrKennethTan took a huge gamble on me for which I'm forever grateful.”, wrote CNN journalist and former Shanghaiist writer James Griffiths. 

 

 

“This is really sad news. @shanghaiist brought much needed levity and fun to China coverage. Will really be missed @MrKennethTan,” wrote Ananth Krishnan, the China Correspondent and Associate Editor at India Today.

 

And more pour in. 

 

While it seems that fate is sealed for the US-based websites, Shanghaiist still has a presence on Facebook and WeChat. Their WeChat account, (shanghai_ist) is still accessible. 

 

We have reached out to Shanghaiist Managing Editor Kenneth Tan for comment and are currently waiting for his statement. 

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Rachel Gouk
Rachel Gouk is the Managing Editor at City Weekend Shanghai. She's a ball-buster, but manages to charm her way back into people's good graces. Likes food, cooking, photography and heavy metal.

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