Mark Kitto is still in China, but don’t worry, not for long, maybe

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)

    11 Responses to “Mark Kitto is still in China, but don’t worry, not for long, maybe”

    1. terroir

      You know that speech a actor gives when he’s really angry, and gets up to leave but then pauses and turns at the door and gives a long soliloquy about stuff that is partly exposition, but mostly Oscar-winning moments/sentimental tripe?

      Damn, this is as drawn out as “Crimson Tide”.

    2. Hugh Grigg

      “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.”

      Is it just me or does that sentence not make sense at all?

    3. Beijing Spunked

      Kitto was a loser and his business model was dodgy. He had a high risk strategy for his magazines and it didn’t pay off. It you can’t take the China risk, you shouldn’t be here. There’s plenty of other expats who have been here and done well and succeeded. This twat is getting all the attention for being a loser. And a whining bitching one at that. Why does Beijing Cream and folk like the Global Times lavish attention on the losers and slag off the successful? I don’t get it.

      • mr. wiener

        You don’t know you are successful ’til you’ve been slagged of by ‘da Creme. It’s a variation on ” I wouldn’t want to be part of a club that would have someone like me for a member”.

      • James

        He’s whiney about a bunch of hilarious bullshit, basically all of it his own damned fault. That and he prefers his own flavor of propaganda to fill his kids’ heads. So off they go to some middle-of-nowhere place in the UK where I’m sure his wife is totally thrilled about.

        His dodgy magazine was lost… boohoo, no one cares, and apparently he didn’t either because ne never bothered to make it legit.
        He’s not happy about not being able to own outright a historical villa which is little more than a scar on the face of china’s past.
        He’s not happy about his kids education, yet unwilling to homeschool or put them up in an international school.

        Aaaaand everything else is just pretentious whiny self-entitled bullshit speak to avoid reality of him being a failure.

    4. Chinese Netizen

      Lesson #1 for Lao Wai in China… do NOT get into media/publishing business. Unless your partner is son/daughter of propaganda ministry lao ban. Even after that, they’ll torpedo you and take it all over.

      Lesson #2: there is NO free press.

      ~Ke Rup Xun
      Minor Official in Wai Ban Office

    5. Eric The Half A Bee

      Media Mogul my ass. How someone with so much b/s can generate so much publicity by blaming all his woes on what he can and cannot do in China is just a joke. If it’s illegal Mark, you can’t do it. Or there’s a huge risk if you do.
      He knew very well he was a dodgy ground. He lost out. Now it’s everybody else’s fault except his own of course. Mark Kitto is fast making a career as an expat whining loser. There’s plenty of expats that did good, including in publishing just like Mark. So how did he fuck it up? He didn’t, is what he’s trying to say – the Chinese did all that shit. Not my fault, no, no, no.
      Publicity hungry, whining loser. Now LEAVE….PUHLEEEZE


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