The entire point of CES — the huge Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas that took place last week — can be whittled down to three things:
- electronics (as the name suggests);
- innovation (new products are the focus);
- and the future (a lot of the stuff on show is in the prototype stage).
But there was one exhibitor who bravely went against the tide: Tyloon, a Chinese company that was in town to promote its newspapers.
Someone was promoting newspapers at CES.
I felt as if I had bumped into a horse dealer at the Detroit Auto Show.
Tyloon’s booth, stocked with piles of “Chinese Biz News,” was No.3515 in the North Hall, which is basically CES’s Siberia. It was at least half a mile’s walk from Samsung’s booth in the Central Hall — CES’s Ground Zero.
As you can see from this photo, Tyloon was largely untroubled by the mob. We walked past the booth twice and on both occasions the table was devoid of customers.
To be fair to Tyloon, newspapers are still a thing in China. The country has more than 1.3 billion people, hundreds of millions of whom have only just emerged from 50 years of Maoist agrarianism. Newspaper circulation is about 90 million daily — more than the U.S. — so papers are a real business in China.
Nor was Tyloon alone. The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times both had exhibits, although neither of them were designed to promote their advances on papyrus.
And Tyloon also publishes online, according to its website.
A booth for newspapers at CES.
We may not see its like again.