China's first private magazine, which was launched by famous blogger Han Han in a bid to break monopoly of the tightly-controlled official media, has shut down apparently after its printing was blocked by authorities.
"Han Han magazine dies", read the front page headline of the state-run 'Global Times' daily.
It said that the magazine named 'Party' was shut after it was bogged down by a host of procedural problems, leading it to seek clearance for each of its page by officials.
"The magazine bore an International Standard Book Number (ISBN) instead of an International Standard Serial Number (ISSN), meaning it was regarded as technically being a book, and therefore needed to undergo government inspection before every new issue was published," the report said.
China's General Administration of Press and Publication did not respond to a Global Times inquiry on the issue.
The news of the "death" of the magazine was also carried by the state-run Xinhua news agency, which in its report said "controversial blogger Han Han may have moved one step closer to becoming a full-time race car driver again after staff at his magazine, Party, were let go Sunday, allowing him more time on the track."
Han, 28, a race car driver, who became immensely popular with his critical comments couched in sarcasm on events and leaders of China , as micro blogging spread fast among the country's 420 million internet users. He brought out the first issue of the magazine in July this year after nearly a year's delay.
When finally it hit the stands on July 6, its publisher said the magazine became the most popular book on Amazon.cn less than 10 hours after pre-selling.
Han's assistant said that the maiden issue of the magazine sold nearly 1.5 million copies.
According to ifeng.com, about 100,000 copies were sold on the magazine's debut, with 400,000 more story sold the day after.
The 120-page Chinese-language magazine, priced at USD 2.41, included part of Han's new novel, '1988 - I Want to Talk to the World', as well as essays, poems and opinion pieces from Hong Kong movie director Pang Ho-cheung, folk musician Zhou Yunpeng and blogger Luo Yonghao, Xinhua reported.
Despite its successful debut, the maiden issue was the magazine's only publication.
Southern Metropolis Weekly (SMW) reported in July that the maiden copy dropped about 70 per cent of Han's originally planned content in order to be approved by the publication watchdog.
Han went through more than 10 publishers to try and save that content, which he may have planned to include in the second issue, the SMW said.