Shanghai-listed People.cn, the widely read news portal owned by state-run newspaper People’s Daily, on Wednesday reported a strong fiscal performance for 2018, an example of a government-backed publication seemingly unencumbered by China’s general downturn of media outlets.
People.cn reaped 1.7 billion yuan ($254 million) in total revenue, up 20.96% year-on-year. Notably, the company’s net profit soared 139.23% to 213.9 million yuan from 2017, which the company attributed to an increase in advertising revenue, a subsidiary’s performance, and cost controls.
The outlet makes big bucks from some sources not quite considered traditional journalism revenue streams. In a January prediction report, the company said it expected revenue from its “content monitoring unit” — a business that monitors content and manages related risks with third-party partners — to increase 166% from the previous period, and help drive People.cn's growth.
Buried in Wednesday’s report, the company claimed the unit met that impressive growth expectation.
People.cn also has the most-followed Weibo social media account, with an astounding 64 million followers.
As of Thursday's morning market close, People.cn's stock price had increased 185% upon the release of the profit increase prediction.