Friday 3 August 2012

News portal Merdeka Review to call it quits

Independent Chinese news portal Merdeka Review will cease operations on Merdeka Day, which coincides with its seventh anniversary, due to financial difficulties.

Its three-year-old Malay desk ceased operations yesterday.

NONEAccording to an announcement on the Merdeka Review website yesterday, the portal is unable to sustain itself despite switching to a subscription model for almost a year.

“In May 2011,Merdeka Reviewhad faced a financial crisis which almost lead to closure. We initiated numerous efforts to save the news portal and we introduced a joint subscription plan with Malaysiakini Chinese version (in October 2011).

“We have reduced operational cost to around RM50,000 from RM60,000 and sought new investors. But after one year, we still could not find suitable investors,” read the announcement.

The news portal added that donations from its readers were only enough to sustain four months of operation and the subscription fees could also only cover half of its monthly costs.

Hence, Merdeka Review said it was difficult for them to ensure quality reporting in the long term.

“The board of directors decided that the news portal will stop operation effective Aug 31 to avoid it from becoming a burden to the society and the industry.”

Merdeka Review, which is one of the pioneers in the local Chinese language Internet media industry, went live on Aug 9, 2005 and was officially launched on Aug 31 the same year.

It is the second major Chinese news portal to cease operations since last January.

Malaysiakini Chinese-Merdeka Review joint subscription plan subscribers will have the option of either transfer the balance of their subscription period to the Malaysiakini English version or ask for a refund.

For more information, subscribers can contact Merdeka Review, either at 016-6419177 or 03-77839916, or email subscription@

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