The website will include translations of national, regional and international news and analysis, selected by the newspaper’s editors.
The website will sit outside of the Australian’s paywall, and it’s expected that about ten stories will sit on the site.
“There’s a big demand for Australian based content, translated into Chinese,” The Australian’s CEO Nicholas Gray told SBS World News.
“It’s not a plan at this stage to deliver a separate service, it’s purely a translation of Australian content which is relevant to a Chinese reading audience.
“It’s the largest language other than English, spoken and read in Australian homes.
“And it’s the language in which there’s the most content overlap.”
Hello! Pleased to launch Chinese language version of The Australian. Enjoy!
— Nicholas Gray (@NicholasGray) September 20, 2017
More than 2.5 per cent of Australian residents speak Chinese at home.
Senior journalism lecturer Dr Saba Bebawi from the University of Technology Sydney sees the move as a targeted approach.
“They would have strategic reasons as to why they would invest in producing in different languages and targeting different groups,” Dr Bebawi said.
“I don’t think it’s a bad thing, it fits with what commercial media does.”
“I think the online platform is interesting because it’s not targeting only Chinese in Australia, but aiming to reach them outside Australia.”
But Dr Bebawi does have one criticism.
“What The Australian is doing is targeting these audiences with what interests them, be it business, international students, real estate, buyers.
“So they are including them, in that sense.
“But [it is] not including their voices.”