Shanghaiist blog has just been shut down!
Expats in China have been mourning the loss of a popular offbeat news website and blog which was abruptly taken offline by its US parent company.
Shanghaiist, which was set up 12 years ago, was closed by New York-based Gothamist network, along with a string of websites which carry out street-level reporting in major cities across the world.
The decision came after reporters and editors in the combined Gothamist and DNAinfo newsroom in New York opted to unionize.
The company said that there were a range of factors which had caused it to “discontinue publishing”, while chief executive officer Joe Rickets blamed the general business environment.
“DNAinfo is, at the end of the day, a business, and businesses need to be economically successful if they are to endure,” he said in a statement that has been posted at the Shanghaiist’s web address.
Just realized the shuttering of DNAInfo also means the end of @shanghaiist, easily one of the best resources for China news & information
— Connor Sheets (@ConnorASheets) November 2, 2017
Mr Rickets also said that the company’s websites have 15 million visits each month by over nine million people.
Shanghaiist has more than 200,000 followers on Twitter. It also reportedly has four million views per month and more than five million fans on Facebook.
News of the website's demise prompted an outpouring of sorrow on social media.
We’d like to warmly welcome @shanghaiist to our sad club. It was the granddaddy of all #China blogs. Sad to see it go.
— The Nanfang (@thenanfang) November 3, 2017
Dan Washburn, who set up the website in 2005, said in a Twitter message: “In an instant, a huge, important, chunk of my life gone, vanished, erased. And what for? Heartbreaking.”
A former worker said: “When I worked at Shanghaiist, I assumed I'd eventually push it too far and taken offline or censored. Never imagined it would come from US.”
When I worked at Shanghaiist, I assumed I'd eventually push it too far and taken offline or censored. Never imagined it would come from US
— Erik Crouch (@erikcrouch) November 2, 2017
Fans of the website took to Facebook to express their sadness.
“The Shanghaiist isn't running anymore!!!!! This is so sad...I love reading this!!!! =(,” said one comment.
Another said: "Noo - we'll miss you! Really sad the site is down.”