For the first time ever, readers in mainland China will be able to access content from esteemed online sports journal The Public Apology (TPA).
The arrangement is the result of a landmark deal brokered by TPA founder and chief editor Dave J. Edwards in Beijing yesterday. Mr Edwards is currently on a business visit to North Asia to expand the publication’s readership in the region.
It is understood that Edwards successfully convinced high-level figures in China’s State Council Information Office that TPA carries no politically sensitive information and therefore is of no threat to the Chinese government. The talks were carried out over a 72 hour period.
The deal represents a gesture of goodwill between Australia and China, and will be seen as a positive first step in advance of negotiations over a Free Trade Agreements between the two countries that will continue later this year.
Mr Edwards heralded the deal as a win for both The Public Apology and Chinese media consumers in general.
“TPA has a huge role to play in China, especially as various Chinese enterprises continue to expand abroad,” he said.
“The aim was to provide Beijing with a greater understanding of what The Public Apology is, while outlining our Asia expansion plans. TPA will obviously play a key role in China’s cultural future.
“Transparency will certainly be key to this relationship going forward.”
Technology experts are calling the deal historic, given the enormous precedent it sets in regards to China’s strict internet censorship laws, colloquially known as the Great Firewall of China.
Apple Genius Bar attendant Darren Pratt said the deal marked a watershed moment in the Sino-Australian relationship.
“Much like former US President Richard Nixon’s historic visit to China in 1972, this deal will open the way for a better relationship between Australia and China on both a commercial and political level,” Mr Pratt said.
“It goes without saying that this will open up boundless opportunities for The Public Apology in this region, with sponsors clamouring to be affiliated with Australia’s leading obscure, niche, elitist sports opinion website.
“Dave Edwards has long said that The Public Apology’s major long-term aim is to take advantage of the Asian Century, and this deal really could make that a reality,” he said.
By staff writers