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North China Daily News

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Subject: List of the oldest newspapers, North China Daily News Building, Shanghai Jewish Chronicle, Canidrome (Shanghai), Frederic H. Balfour
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North China Daily News

North China Daily News
Front page of the inaugural issue of the North China Herald (August 3, 1850)
Traditional Chinese 字林西報
Simplified Chinese 字林西报

The North China Daily News (in Chinese: Zilin Xibao), was an English-language newspaper in Shanghai, China, called the most influential foreign newspaper of its time.[1]


Offices of the North China Daily News in Shanghai, ca. 1920

The paper was founded as the weekly North-China Herald (T: 北華捷報, S: 北华捷报, P: Běihuá Jiébào) and was first published on 3 August 1850. Its founder, British auctioneer Henry Shearman (T: 奚安門, S:奚安门, P: Xī Ānmén), died in 1856. A daily edition commenced publication on 1 June 1864 as the North China Daily News. The North-China Herald was also the gazette (official record) of the British Supreme Court for China and Japan and the British Consulate. For much of the period it was published under the masthead North-China Herald and Supreme Court and Consular Gazette. The newspaper was an influential force in Shanghai and throughout China. Its circulation peaked at 7,817 copies.

A notable early editor was Frederic H. Balfour. Other editors included Archibald John Little's brother R.W. "Bob" Little (C: 李德立, P: Lǐ Délì), who also served on the Shanghai International Settlement, the municipal council. In 1901, the paper was purchased by Henry E. Morris (T:馬立斯, S:马立斯, P:Mǎ Lìsī). In 1920, the paper passed to his son, H.E. Morris Jr., who used his money to build a compound of luxurious houses which became today's Ruijin Hotel,[2] as well as the Canidrome, a dog-racing stadium. One of the two Morrises also purchased the Hellier Stradivarius.[3] In 1924, the newspaper moved its headquarters to the new North China Daily News Building at Number 17 on the Bund, then the tallest building in Shanghai.

The North-China Herald and the daily edition suspended publication after 8 December 1941 during the Pacific war. Publication of the Herald was never resumed. On 31 March 1951, the North China Daily News suspended publication at the orders of the ruling Chinese Communist Party and the North China Daily News Building was seized by the Shanghai municipal government of the People's Republic of China.

The Shanghai Library keeps back issues of the North China Daily News and the North-China Herald at the Bibliotheca Zikawei (in Xujiahui).

See also


  1. ^ Xiaoqun Xu. Chinese Professionals and the Republican State: The Rise of Professional Associations in Shangahai, 1912–1937 Cambridge University Press, 2001. p. 45. ISBN 0-521-78071-3
  2. ^ City Guide to Shanghai
  3. ^ Cozio owner info

External links

  • Pan Haixia. "Witness to history." Shanghai Star. 20 November 2003. Retrieved 5 June 2008.
  • "The English-language Newspaper scene, 1930s" An excerpt from Sin City, by Ralph Shaw, a British journalist who worked for the North China Daily News
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