All three sites will be tailored to provide more in-depth analysis, breaking news and business bulletins for each of the markets as well as a host of specially commissioned features and reports. Users will also be able to enjoy an expansion of the News, Sport and Travel sections, more localised weather updates and increased features from local correspondents and video content. All of these will be supported by BBC.com’s commercial launch partners Finnair, UPS and Prudential Corporation Asia.
Chris Davies, Acting Managing Director, for BBC.com said: “At present BBC.com is the leading international news website in Asia-Pacific with 11.1 million unique users per month. These editions are the response to overwhelming audience feedback and testing and will ensure even greater engagement from new and existing users.”
James Montgomery, Controller of Digital, BBC Global News added: “In an unstable world and a rapidly developing media environment, these three new editions across Asia reflect the BBC’s commitment to accurate, high-quality and independent news across digital platforms. BBC.com commands levels of trust and relevance unmatched among international news providers – based on expert journalistic analysis around the globe and rooted in a deep understanding of our audiences. The launch of these dedicated editions across Asia Pacific will strengthen that offer still further.”
In support of the increased localisation of the sites, BBC.com has recently built a new team in Asia-Pacific, focused on providing more locally-curated content. The team includes an increase of editorial support and reporters based in Singapore working alongside highly acclaimed journalists from the BBC’s international news service including Soutik Biswas, and Damian Grammaticas, who are already based within the region.
BBC.com’s investment in Asia is mirrored in the TV space with BBC World News giving continued editorial focus on the region. In 2011 this has included the launch of new weekday programme Newsday, as well as a season of programming entitled The Power of Asia, which examines the economic growth of Asia.
The new site will also feature a staggered launch of five specially commissioned reports – created from a mix of video, text and pictures. These new series include further commissions of the popular Start-up Stories, The New Middles Class and India Direct, the BBC’s latest regular series. The reports all seek to go beyond the headlines to ensure more in depth analysis on topics that matter to local communities for both users in Asia and across the globe. These include:
Start-Up Stories China – Eight-part weekly series investigating how entrepreneurs in China are transforming the country, and the world, starting on November 4, both online and on BBC World News.
Generation Asia – Eight-part series starting on November 4. The series explores the huge changes sweeping across the continent and the impact of them on a new generation of Asians.
India Direct – A series of reports which will run in tandem with the India Direct season of programming on BBC World News. The series will start on November 7.
China’s Global Reach – In line with the G20 summit, this series of eight reports will complement the Global Economy section of the News website, focusing on the key role China is now playing, and will continue to play, in the global economy.
The New Middle Class – Two additional reports from the BBC series looking at financial decisions facing a new generation of middle class Asians, this time focusing on India. The reports will air week commencing November 21 and November 28.