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India’s only Chinese Mandarin newspaper shuts down

Kolkata-based Chinese newspaper Seong Pow has stopped publication after 50 years

Finally, it was curtain down for India’s one and only Mandarin newspaper, Seong Pow. This Kolkata-based paper stopped its publication after more than 50 years since it was established.

It was in 1969 that The Overseas Chinese Commerce of India or Seong Pow started printing in Kolkata. It was started by Lee Yun Chin and its production continued till March 2020 when it was hit by the lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Kuo-tsai Chang, the editor of the publication, shut down publication and subsequently he passed away. This newspaper, which had four pages, covered varied and a wide range of issues and topics on the Chinese community in India.

Before it shut down due to Covid lockdown, 200 copies were printed daily.

Talking to the media about the closure of this Chinese daily, Chen Yao Hua, the president of the Chinese Association of India, said it was because of the lack of a Mandarin-educated workforce it had to be shut down. He said the paper could not find suitable people who could continue the paper’s publication because Tangra, the place where the office of the paper is located, has a dwindling population of Chinese.

He went on to add that there were very few young people in Tangra who could read and write Mandarin properly. This made it very difficult to continue publication of Seong Pow.