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Was Peppa Pig actually banned in China? In the last edition of this newsletter, I linked to a few stories about the rise of Peppa Pig as a force on social media in China, and the subsequent banning of Peppa videos on a social video site. The actual story was somewhat more complex, and highlights how easy it is for international media to jump to conclusions about what's happening in China. (Elephant Room)

The government of Qatar is looking to invest in conservative publisher NewsMax. The Qatari government (which owns Al Jazeera) has reportedly been looking to increase the country's reach and influence in the US since being blockaded by its Arab neighbors last summer. (Politico)

News Corp's national broadsheet newspaper, The Australian, launched a Chinese-language website last year. It's the first non-English news offering by a major commercial publisher in Australia, where Mandarin is the second most widely spoken language. The site's readership has quadrupled since the start of 2018. (Splice Newsroom)

Pear Video is a leading short-form video news platform in China, with over 500 million daily views and not a single journalist on staff. Founder Wei Xing describes where their video content comes from: "We have built and operate a huge network of videographers; we have around 30,000 -- mainly in China -- in every province, small city, and in the countryside, and we are still growing that number." (Splice Newsroom)

The Dutch member-funded news site De Correspondent has raised $1.8 million to launch its US-based English site. De Correspondent has what I think is the most interesting model in journalism right now, with 60,000 paying members and no ad revenue of any kind. A big chunk of the funding is coming from Omidyar Networks. (Medium)

Jeffrey Katzenberg's mobile-video startup, NewTV, reportedly raised $800 million to make short-form video. The animating premise of the company seems to be applying high-end production values to short videos, with shows costing $5-$6 million per hour, which works out to $1.25-$1.5 million for a 15-minute episode (!!) or about $85k-$100k per minute (!!!). This is terribly confusing. (Bloomberg)

WhatsApp is becoming the social messaging app of choice for politicians seeking election in India. Moreso even than Facebook. In recent elections in the state of Karnakata, two major parties said they'd set up over 50,000 WhatsApp groups to reach voters. (New York Times)

"The airport bar is frozen in time, a place you can count on." I really like this sweet ode to the airport bar. It's not mentioned in the piece, but my all-time favorite spot to get food and a beer in an airport is Shushi Kyotatsu in Terminal 1 at Narita. I'd like to compile a list, so send me your favorites? (The Week)


Correct: The premise of this article -- publishing by Conde Nast Traveler in 2016 -- is frankly bananas! (@pattymo)


Singapore is now the world's most expensive city: The city is again at the top of The Economist's annual survey, coming in at 16% more expensive than New York, the survey's benchmark (and no. 11 this year). No US city cracked the top ten, due to the dollar's weakness. (The Economist)


The Wirecutter's Carry-On Pick: They just updated their guide to  carry-ons, and while I'm still a fan of backpacks for most of my traveling, their picks look solid. Given all the recent issues with smart luggage and removable batteries (two smart luggage companies just shut down), I really like their advice on making any bag "smart" -- just get a really good phone charger and a Tile for tracking! I refuse to believe anyone needs a scale built into their baggage. (Wirecutter)


Matcha Cheetos: They are a thing in Japan! (@juntsuboike)
A semi-regular roundup of links, images and other HTML of note about trends and ideas in global digital media, put together by Scott Lamb.

About the name:
i18n is a numeronym, per Wikipedia, "where 18 stands for the number of letters between the first i and the last n in the word 'internationalization.'"
Copyright © 2018 i18n, All rights reserved.

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