TPA Founder Commits Major Cultural Gaffe on China Trip

The Public Apology founder Dave J. Edwards has put the company’s well-publicised Asian push in jeopardy after a major cultural gaffe during a meeting in China.

During the high-level meeting with a major Chinese corporation, Edwards, who is currently in China representing the TPA Media Holdings Group, failed to properly exchange business cards according to strict Chinese custom.

In China, it is protocol to present and receive business cards with both hands, with the writing facing to the recipient. One must also take the time to study the card carefully as a sign of respect for their position in the company.

Edwards reportedly forgot to adhere to this cultural norm, despite attending a six-week course on ‘Sino-Australia business relations’ in the lead up to his well-documented business trip to North Asia.

According to sources, Edwards handed his card over with a laconic, somewhat ostentatious flick of the wrist, as if he were offering a friend a cigarette.

He then failed to study the Chinese businessman’s business card, instead greedily shoving it into his back pocket, where it would rest, discarded, alongside a bunch of crumpled taxi receipts and Extra wrappers.

“We will definitely reconsider doing business with TPA Media Holdings after this flagrant sign of disrespect,” said a spokesperson for the unnamed Chinese company.

Edwards was also rumoured to have been slightly hungover during the meeting, at one point even accidentally dropping the f-bomb, ala Peter Russo in season one of House of Cards.

A TPA Media Holdings spokesperson refused to comment on allegations that Edwards may be suffering from alcoholism, but added that “it’s been a big week for the company.”

TPA Media Holdings brokered a landmark deal with the Chinese government earlier this week to penetrate the firewall preventing Chinese readers from accessing its flagship site The Public Apology.


By staff writers


Landmark Deal Sees TPA Penetrate the Great Firewall of China

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.

Edwards concludes 72-hour talks with unidentified Chinese counterpart
Edwards concludes 72-hour talks with unidentified Chinese counterpart

“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

Interim Editor Declares Bold New Direction for The Public Apology

Mere days after being handed the reins of The Public Apology, interim chief editor Ben Shine has signalled a change of  direction for the esteemed online journal.

The pivot includes an aggressive push for online market share through the publication of clickbait articles, the exploration of a lucrative corporate partnership with the NBL and an exclusive online advertising partnership with Shane Warne’s underwear brand, Spinners.

The Public Apology’s critically acclaimed podcast, TPA Live, will also be renamed “Sports Time with Dave-o and the Badger” to better appeal to 20-29 year old male listeners.

“F*ck ‘business as usual’. I’m making some changes ’round here,” Shine said.

“Rather than cynical articles with big words in them, I want content that takes an uncritical look at sport and promotes wholesome values and messages like ‘Go Australia’, ‘Isn’t Channel 9’s coverage of rugby league fantastic?!’ and ‘Ten reasons why Paul Gallen is my favourite Australian’,” he said.

Shine has been handed the reins for 12 days while chief editor and founder of the Public Apology David J. Edwards is on international business. It is understood Edwards, who at the time of publication was en-route to Beijing, is unaware of changes to the masthead’s policies.

Edwards has been focused on expanding TPA into China, to take advantage of the Asian Century
Edwards is reportedly in China to personally oversee TPA’s push into Asia

“Dave’s gone on holiday or something or rather, so I said to myself, why don’t we shake things up a bit? You know, make a bit of cheddar while the big dawg is away?,” Shine rhetorically asked a room of reporters.

“For too long The Public Apology has taken a high moral ground by not accepting lucrative commercial deals, but guess what, there’s no money up there on that pedestal.”

HSBC analyst Steven Stephenson said any departure from the Public Apology’s traditional brand could actually have a negative impact its quarterly results.

“This could really hurt TPA’s reader numbers. They’ve built a loyal readership in Australia, and in places like Iraq on the back of their unique, esoteric perspectives on modern sport, and changing that formula could scare those readers away,” he said.

“These changes will be perceived as brash and may spook investors. Instead of making money, TPA could blow it all away rather quickly.

“What’s worse is all of these changes are being done without the imprimatur of David Edwards, who would not have seen this ambush coming, especially given the Internet censorship policy in China.

“Make no mistake, this is the corporate coup of the decade. It would even make Machiavelli blush.”

By staff writers.