Shanghai-based Shen Bao (formerly transliterated as Shun Pao) was the longest-lasting and probably most influential newspaper in modern China. Its history is enmeshed in the major Chinese political and cultural developments of the first half of the twentieth century. The full name of the newspaper was Shenjiang Xinbao (translated as Shenjiang New Post, also known in English as the Shanghai News); it was founded by British businessman Ernest Major and first appeared on April 30, 1872. Major returned to England in 1889, and the paper came under Chinese ownership in 1907. From its start, Shen Bao was produced by Chinese staff for Chinese readership. Circulation expanded until reaching 150,000 in the 1930s. The political stance shifted from conservative support of the government to a moderately liberal pro-constitution position. The newspaper also assumed a strong anti-Japanese position; Norwood Francis Allman, the former U.S. Consulate officer, took on the role of editor in 1938 to guide the paper’s independent position during Japanese occupation of Shanghai prior to World War II. After leadership by Japanese collaborators during the war, Shen Bao continued until it was shut down by the People’s Liberation Army in May 1949. While the value of the content is great, presenting the full run of a title significant not only for the history of China but also for foreign relations in Asia during a critical time period from the late nineteenth century up through World War II, this database is best suited for subject experts since there are very few labels in English. (contains full run, not updated.)
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