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The News Lens: Taiwanese Company Keeps on Trend

World News Publishing Focus

World News Publishing Focus
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The News Lens: Taiwanese Company Keeps on Trend

When Joey Cheung co-founded digital start-up company, The News Lens, in 2013, he watched his fledgling company start out with four members of staff.

Now, a year and a half later and after taking Taiwan by storm, their numbers have grown by… well, not much more, really.

In fact, the company which has around 4.5 million subscribers in Taiwan and steadily growing markets in East Asia and the US, still only has 18 full-time employees.

“Our biggest advice for digital startups is to be as lean as possible” says Cheung.

The News Lens is a digital start-up company desingned to fill a gap in impartial Asian media coverage, and largely built on initiative. “We actually started our Facebook page first to create that word of mouth for the first 40, 45 days” says Cheung, “but then [we thought] how do we get word of mouth out there if we have no marketing budget? Well, we thought we’d look at it from a consumer perspective.”

The News Lens staff made a point of tapping into the everyday lives of their would-be audience, in this case young, educated professionals. “We have a deal with the biggest taxi co in Taiwan. And they have those screens where every 30 seconds our adds would pop up. If you approach the companies which operate these videos, they actually want to get people to look at the screens and one of the best way to do that is news,” says Cheung.

The News Lens is has an advantage in this respect: it’s a young company with young staff, many in fresh graduates in their early- to mid- 20s.  “One thing about you learn about startups is that interns are great” Cheung notes, referring to the 14 interns the have working for them. “They give us a lot of energy and remind us what we’re doing this for.”


Calum Stuart


2014-11-18 18:16

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