Though Hu Shuli has left the Caijing Magazine, the best Chinese business and finance magazine for more than a year, she is still remembered as the founder and the best chief editor of Caijing.
When Caijing was founded in 1998, people’s aspiration for political reform has frozen for almost 10 years. The prosperity of business brought new hope to the people, that the development of economy would spur the political reform and democratization. Hu’s knowledge and experience sonly found herself the most suitable stage. She used to wrote articles about social development for Workers’ Daily; she learned the most advanced financial and economical notions in Stanford; she reported the changes in Wall Street for China Business Times; she experienced the Culture Revolution and Anti-Liberalization. Her firm beliefs in democracy, her correct recognition of news report and her sensitiveness in political and economical issues drove her to devote herself into the promising area.
In Caijing’s cover story To Uncover the Snare of Yin Guangxia in August 2001, Hu and her team reported that the company’s severe fake performances in 1999 and 2000. The company had been a promising star in Chinese stock market, of which the share price had risen ten times than before. The report pinpointed that behind the glories on the surface was a giant black hole. The report won Caijing great social responses and reputation. Coming into the contact with the investigative reports Caijing had done before about Chinese fund market, the magazine was viewed as the revealer of black and snares. Hu was also praised by BusinessWeek as “the most feared woman in China.”
After that, Caijing began to touch some more sensitive social issues, including the SARS in 2003, the anti-corruption and environmental pollution. Hu wanted to reject the widely held Western perceptions that the Chinese media are a monolithic state-dominated institution.
In 2009, some founders of Caijing wanted to ensure the market share and profit by avoiding some sensitive issues, which directly contradicted with Hu’s belief “Independent Standpoint, Exclusive Coverage and Unique Perspective.” In July, several of Caijing’s reports were ban to publish. Caijing was forced to have every reported censored before publishing, which is unacceptable to Hu. In her article The Uncertain Vision, she said that “I believe the media’s right to criticize and the public’s right to know are much more important than the duty which a magazine gave itself.” In November 2009, Hu and her team resigned from Caijing, which resulted in a nationwide attention and discussion. Observing the situation, Diane Vacca at Women’s Voices for Change quoted Chinese blogger Hecaitou: “She’s got blood on her blade, and her clothing smells of gunpowder.”
Now, Hu Shuli is the chief editor of Caixin Media, Century Weekly and China Reform. She is also the Dean of the School of Communication and Design at Sun Yat-sen University.