China / Society

New model for news at Intelligence Hut

( Updated: 2015-07-19 13:48

In the Internet era when traditional news websites are losing the edge to Internet portals,, a Shanghai-based news website, is about to reverse the trend.

"We are going to set up around 1,000 one-stop service centers in the city in the next year and with more clients relying on the service of the centers, the news we produce will be delivered with the services," Xu Shiping, the website's editor-in-chief, said at an Internet media forum held in Zhanjiang, Guangdong province from Friday to Sunday.

The service center, called the Intelligence Hut, is mainly in communities and on campuses, providing ATM machines, utility service terminals, a wide range of vending machines and computers for people to surf the Internet.

Why does a news website tip its toe in the waters of community service?

Xu said he believes that service to people in mega-cities such as Shanghai is a business with promising long-term prospects.

"My company is working with Jingdong Mall, a major electronic commerce company, and the Intelligent Hut provides deposit service for items of Jingdong clients. For office goers, they can get the items from the Huts in their neighborhood when they are off work," he said.

It also provides a wide range of terminals, such as the automatic machine for people to pay their utility fees and credit cards.

Most services in the Huts are free and when people become regular users they are regular readers of news published on the Internet terminals that provide service.

"The cost of operation is covered by the companies that place their machines and service in our Intelligence Huts and the advertising in the computers as well as other machines is another source of income," Xu said.

"Providing good service in a mega-city is an efficient way to keep the number of customers. If our company has customers, we have our news readers,"Xu said, adding that he believes this news business model will be profitable.

"Creating new business models is vital for the survival of news media," he added.

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