Bloomberg should have rethought articles on China, says chairman
Bloomberg News should have reconsidered articles that deviated from its core business-news coverage in light of the huge potential for its products in the Chinese market, the chairman of Bloomberg LP said in a speech on Thursday.
Neil Gough of the New York Times writes, “Bloomberg, the financial data and news company, relies on sales of its terminals, which are ubiquitous on bankers’ desks around the world, for around 82 percent of its $8.5 billion in revenue. But sales of those terminals in China declined sharply after the company published an article in June 2012 on the family wealth of Xi Jinping, at that time the incoming Communist Party chief. Following its publication, officials ordered state enterprises not to subscribe to the service.
“Acknowledging the vast size of the Chinese economy, the world’s second biggest after that of the United States, the chairman, Peter T. Grauer, said, ‘We have to be there.’
“‘We have about 50 journalists in the market, primarily writing stories about the local business and economic environment,’ Mr. Grauer said in response to questions after a speech at the Asia Society. ‘You’re all aware that every once in a while we wander a little bit away from that and write stories that we probably may have kind of rethought — should have rethought.’
“He did not specifically mention the article about Mr. Xi or any other articles.
“Mr. Grauer’s comments on Bloomberg’s journalistic priorities in China reflect what some Bloomberg employees say is a re-emphasis on financial news and skepticism from the business side of the company that investigative journalism might not be worth the potential problems it could create for terminal sales.”
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