UPDATE, 7:23 pm: Sorry everyone, I dozed at the wheel on this one: the story is really old. Like, November 15. I’ll go sit in the corner for a while now.
Ever wonder what happened to Mark Kitto after his infamous August 8 Prospect Magazine column “You’ll never be Chinese”? Chris Hawke of Global Times has the most comprehensive update yet of his last four months in China:
Unlike [Charlie] Custer, who actually did leave China, Kitto is still here. He has not bought a plane ticket, nor even set a departure date beyond his plans for a final, months-long road trip across the country with his family, which should be completed by next summer.
But don’t be mistaken by thinking that he is having second thoughts. During a recent talk to a full house at Sanlitun bookstore The Bookworm, Kitto reiterated that he still planned to leave China for good, and definitely, with no plans to return. His only reason for staying is if the country changes completely, a process he expects to be messy, and that he has no desire to stick around for.
“I’ve made a bit of an industry leaving China,” he quipped over a noontime beer during an interview with Metro Beijing. In 2005, the Financial Times implied in an article Kitto had packed his bags and returned to the UK after losing a legal battle with a Chinese publisher to keep control of the stable of expat-oriented magazines he started building in 1997, which grew to include That’s Beijing and That’s Shanghai.
That misunderstanding suited Kitto fine, as it helped him keep a low-profile when he moved to the mountain village of Moganshan to open a café with his wife after losing control of his multi-million dollar business.
Kitto says he’s “bitterly disappointed” with China, and reiterates that he’s mainly leaving for the sake of his son and daughter, who currently spend 11 hours a day at school. Go give all of it a read if these expattery issues are of any interest.
I’m still leaving China (Global Times)