China Daily's Asia edition releases first audit

After volunteering its circulation data for independent verification, the China Daily’s Asia Weekly edition has released its first audit report.

The report by BPA Worldwide shows that weekly circulation figures for the publication reached 233,387 in the three months to September 2013.

A significant amount of those copies were distributed free of charge, with Australia, Malaysia, the UAE and Indonesia its biggest markets. Asia Weekly is circulated in 12 Asian countries.

“As we recently celebrated the publication’s third anniversary, the audit results show that we have accumulated a dedicated following across the region in a relatively short space of time,” said Zhou Li, publisher and editor-in-chief of China Daily Asia Pacific.

For the past several years, China’s government has been investing millions of dollars in a global soft-power push to expand its influence over media outlets outside its home territory.

An October 2013 report by Freedom House showed claimed that China was offering free editorial content to Latin American, African and Asian news organizations that can’t afford to send correspondents to China and was subtly exerting influence over Chinese-language media in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Chinese diaspora communities.