The Sun (太陽報) is one of the newspapers in Hong Kong. It was first published in March 1999 and has been established for 4 years since its first publication. It belongs to the Oriental Press Group Limited (東方報業集團有限公司).
The main market of The Sun is in Hong Kong. Yet, it is found that people outside Hong Kong can hardly obtain updated Hong Kong news. Therefore, the Oriental Press Group is now planning to publish a North American edition for readers who live in New York and Toronto. Not only can this let people in North America get more up-to date news on what is happening in Hong Kong, but also diversify the market of Sun Daily.
There is also an electronic version of The Sun on the Internet. Both the newspaper and the electronic version are written in traditional Chinese.
"No fear for wind and storm and with the emergence of the Sun, a sharp contrast will be found between black and white". ( 無 懼 風 雨 ， 太 陽 一 出 ， 黑 白 分 明) was the slogan used by The Sun when it first appeared in the market.
Since the newspaper market in 1999 has already been well-developed, The Sun adopted an aggressive marketing strategy to gain as much market share as possible. They lowered the price to only $2 when it first emerged in the market. This triggered a price war among all the local newspapers in Hong Kong. At that time, most newspapers reduced their prices by half. However this competiton did not last very long. The price of all newspapers gradually rose again after a few months' time. The Sun followed and gradually raised the price as well. Ultimately this price war made 6 newspaper companies ran out of business.
In addition to price-cutting, The Sun used various methods to attract people to buy their paper, such as giving away T-shirts with the Sun's logo. Moreover, it enclosed some souveniors such as toys, books and fast-food restaurant discount coupons.
The newspaper provides various kinds of news everyday. It includes local and international news, financial news, entertainment news, sports news, technology information, horse-racing news and news reporting trendy stuff among young people.
Regarding the horse-racing news, it has gained a very good reputation among horse gamblers. For the entertainment news, it reports both the local and foreign celebrities' news, so as to entertain different citizens' interests. In addition, it often offers some coupons to the readers. It is a way to attract more buyers.
In the page of financial news, there is a column for some financial analysts and economic experts to write articles related to the financial and stock market in Hong Kong. To further diversify its newspaper, The Sun has been publishing a guide book with information of secondary schools and overseas schools for Form 5 students to read before the release of HKCEE results.
For the electronic version of the newspaper, one can even search for different news in the past, give comments through email, or vote for hot debated issues on the website. The latest feature of the electronic newspaper is football news. It helps football lovers to catch up with the matches' results. Moreover, the electronic newspaper is going to develop a more vibrant one to replace the current version.
Over 1,000,000 people read the Sun daily everyday and 29,000 readers subscribe its electronic newspaper. It is the third best-selling newspaper in Hong Kong, whereas Oriental Daily and Apple Daily rank first and second respectively.
The Sun always sponsors organizations which promote teenage functions, for instance, JSSE, so as to increase the teenage pool to buy its newspaper. These sponsors are mainly communication services, moblie phone companies and supermarkets.
Most of the readers are youngsters and bourgeois. As their purchasing power is relatively high, it attracts people from different fields. They want to promote their products and pay money to put advertisements on the newspaper. The advertising fee is the lowest among the local newspapers as they have guaranteed.
The reporting style, target market and target customers of Sun Daily are similar to that of Apple Daily and Oriental Daily News. Since the Sun and Oriental Daily News both belong to the Oriental Press Group Limited, together they see Apple Daily as the biggest competitor.
The Sun has cooperated with Oriental Daily News to set up orisun.com. The idea was originated from Mr Ma Ching Kwan (馬澄坤) who is the chairman of the Oriental Press Group Limited. Mr Ma believed that Chinese overseas countries can just obtain "out-dated news" but not the first-hand ones, so he suggested the idea of having the online version so as to let the Chinese around the world view the whole newspaper online. The news is updated everyday at 5:00am.
This co-operated website provides many mutual benefits to both newspapers. They share the up-to-date news together. This greatly helps both newspapers get higher rankings than other newspapers. To improve the quality of the service, orisun.com is equipping itself by getting better access to overseas database system and broadband service. This enables the web-browsers from overseas to download the newspaper at a faster speed.
The content of the online version is divided into seven parts. They are politics, finance, entertainment, sport, technology, feature and horse racing. Each of them is well organized with related topics. For people who need to refer back to the old news, online newspaper would be really helpful. However, to browse any old news, the orisun.com would charge the readers for a certain amount of money, though it is still free for the-sun.com.hk. Readers can search the news in the past by inserting the dates or key words of the news. So it helps readers to find the needed information in a more efficient way. Most of the news in the online version are summarised into shorter articles with relevant photos. The online newspaper also has a column for readers to leave their comment so that it can upgrade itself to suit their needs.There is a page with software provided for browsers to download if they cannot read Chinese in their computer.
At the moment, orisun.com and the-sun.com.hk are still trying to struggle for a larger market share as more and more newspapers and newsmagazines are having their online versions.
In order to grasp as much news as possible, The Sun has set up a hotline and a fax number for people to report the news happening around them. If those news possess potential that can arouse citizens' interest or entertain people, reporters will investigate the issue and post them on the newspaper. Not only does this provide a good channel for people to express and share their ideas, but also help reporters save time searching for other important news.
- Orisun.com - Hong Kong (http://orisun.com/)
- Sun Daily - Hong Kong (http://the-sun.com.hk/index.html)
- Company review of Oriental Press Group Limited provided by Yahoo Finance (http://hk.biz.yahoo.com/company/review/0/0018.hk.html)