According to the latest Census there is about 5.5% of the Australian population who spoke a Chinese language at home mainly named Cantonese and Mandarin. The Census also revealed that since the Chinese population has reached 1,390,637 in Australia, the use of Chinese had overtaken Italian and Greek to become for the first time or certainly since the large influx of Chinese migrants in the nineteenth century, the second most widely-spoken language in Australia after English.
The importance of Chinese as a foreign language also continues to grow in tandem with the rapid growth of the Chinese economy and the importance of China as a trading partner for Australia. Merchandise trade with China has grown almost two hundred-fold over the past thirty years, from $113 million in 1973 to $21 billion in 2002. Since 2008, China has become Australia's largest trading partner in terms of both imports and exports.
In the second half of the 19th century Chinese-speaking migrants arrived in Australia creating a demand for Chinese publications. Starting in the late 19th century and continuing through the first half of the 20th century, Chinese newspapers were published in Sydney and Melbourne to meet the needs of the local Chinese community. Following at least a two-decade gap in the second half of the 20th century when few, if any, Chinese newspapers were published, another major influx of Chinese-speaking migrants brought about a second active period in Chinese newspaper publishing starting in the 1980s.
Publishing by the Chinese community in Australia is increasing. In 2003 there were five daily Chinese newspapers and around 20 weekly newspapers. Newspapers are an important vehicle for local companies and government agencies to advertise their products and services targeting the Chinese-reading population in Australia.
Large-scale Chinese publishing by government organisations for the local Chinese community started in the 1980s, providing information for the growing numbers of Chinese-speaking immigrants. From the 1990s, in response to growing links with China, government agencies also increasingly published in Chinese targeting an overseas audience.
The level of Chinese publishing by Australian companies to promote their services and products in China is still relatively low, but this is likely to grow substantially in coming years as the importance of the Chinese market increases.
|Name||Year Established||Nature||Readers||Distribution Area||Publishing Frequency|
|The Australian Chinese Age (Electronic Copy)||1996||News & General||250,000||Electronically Distributed to Subscribers in Melbourne VIC||Weekly Friday|
|The Pacific Times||1993||News, Business & Property||200,000||Melbourne VIC For Sale in Newsagency||Weekly Friday|
|Chinese Sydney Weekly|
|1995||Community News & General||250,000||Electronically Distributed to Subscribers in Sydney NSW||Weekly Friday|
|Chinese Sydney Property Weekly (Electronic Copy)||1995||Business & Property Sales||200,000||Electronically Distributed to Subscribers in Sydney NSW||Weekly Friday|
|Queensland Asian Business Weekly||1993||News & General||150,000||Brisbane, Gold Coast QLD & Free Pick-up in Shops||Weekly Friday|
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