Departure of Jenny Zhu & David Xu, CPod's move to Taiwan
Why won't Chinese Pod make an official announcement about their move to Taiwan, and that Jenny and David are leaving?
Instead it is left to Jenny and David themselves to make a farewell at the end of a Media lesson, which most CPod don't listen to because it is well beyond their level.
How about keeping everyone informed for once. When are you moving, why are you moving, and who made the decision? (in fact, who is in charge of CPod these days?)
Matt_TDecember 29, 2014, 07:57 AM
I had some of the same concerns. My thinking is that all the info we are looking for will come in the year. Since its the holidays I am thinking that everyone is busy wrapping up the year and working on preparing the announcement of the move. I noticed that in jenny's we chat she was in Canada with her family over the holidays and thought it was strange since there were still podcasts being released with her in them but I guess it makes sense that they would have been recorded I'm advance to allow everyone time to leave for the holidays.
It's really sad to see Jenny and David go as there were the last remains of the original Chinesepodteam that I grew with over my time using Chinesepod.
Looking back to the wechat episode I was wondering why jenny shared her we chat ID and now I realize that it was probably to keep in touch and share her life with us fans since she is no longer at Chinesepod.
I'm curious to see what changes the team in Taiwan will bring.
I'll dare to make a prediction. Gwilym and Fiona will try to give us a business, political or pedagogical reason for moving to Taiwan, when of course the real reason is that they want to move back to their home town.
I also predict that the ownership of ChinesePod will change again within 3 years.
I believe that Jenny sold her company (ChinesePod) a number of years ago, so perhaps she has just decided that she would like to move on to other projects. The Wikipeida say it was bought by Bigfoot Ventures in January 2012 and I imagine they don't have business ties in China so have decided to get offices elsewhere, (The contact us page mentions NY,HK,LN etc). I heard from the teaching services (and others on this site) that operations were in Singapore. Either way, I'm pretty happy that there are so many lessons on this site to go through. I think if I were to listen to all 3000+ I would be a Mandarin genius :)
I might be wrong, but I don't think Bigfoot are the current owners. There is no mention of ChinesePod on their website. There has been no mention of a sale since then, but I suspect Gwilym and Fiona are the current owners.
Gwilym and Fiona already live inTaiwan have been producing content from there basically the entire time they have been with CPod. Looking at the CPod team page it seems that the CEO is the same person in charge of that Sexy Mandarin site also owned by the Bigfoot group.
Jenny has been focusing a lot on her open language business, is this also owned by Bigfoot group?
Either way I think the future holds some exciting new changes such as video content. One thing I would personally like to see is live google hangouts similar to what Yangyang Cheng does but I don't know if this is something they will do.
It would be nice to get a post from CPod outline their new content they are planning.
@Matt_t, I have been using Chinesepod as the primary source of my Chinese study material since early 2007. There wasn't a big archive at the time. So, it wasn't particularly daunting to go through the existing lessons. Although, it was a couple years before I could get much out of the advanced and media lessons, at which point, I worked my way through the backlog of those.
I have been primarily going through the intermediate lessons and just started trying some of the upper intermediate ones. I find myself still going back to the elementary lessons if the topic is particularly interesting to me. Your Chinese seems to be quite good, do you also get a lot of speaking practice where you live?
This is pretty typical of chinesepod for like the past 2 years or so. Its just a general lack of informing users about significant changes in the website and its staff. I use to write posts criticizing chinesepod about this but I got the silent treatment or vicious attacks from people like Jenny herself (in Chinese) saying that I held "conspiracy theories." Anyway, its sad to see a great product as well as the personalities who made it so great go down the tubes.
I just caught up with this news about the changes at Chinesepod. Being a consistent user since 2006, it's really heartbreaking to know that Jenny and David are leaving the company. Besides being great at what they do, I feel like I'm losing a great friend. Jenny Zhu has been the reason I've stuck with learning mandarin. Her delivery and clarity in mandarin is quite extraordinary as well being at a high level in English as well. "Will be sorely missed", is an understatement to say the least. The Chinesepod identity will completely change. I will probably not extend my subscription come July. To Jenny I would say, 啊呀 很糟糕！别走啊！你是我最好的老师， 怎么会离开Chinesepod? 我真的很伤心！Well maybe that not dramatic but truly feel the loss of a great teacher. John Pasden was also the perfect compliment to Jenny. The pair will be appreciated and remembered for revolutionizing Chinese learning, imho.
wotingyuDecember 30, 2014, 01:30 PM
Farewell and thank you to Jenny and David.
This form of communication (or non-communication) is very Chinese so in a way its just a part of the overall educationanl experience. Also, Taiwan is awesome so can't really blame any business for moving there--hopefully it doesn't muddy the 口音和发音。
FWIW--I'm pretty sure my last subscription renewal (November-ish) went to a paypal account for the current head of Bigfoot Ventures.
beibaoliJanuary 02, 2015, 02:07 AM
Oh, this is sad news indeed. Jenny's voice and personality have made listening to Chinesepod a joy for so many years! I am keeping my fingers crossed that the lessons will continue to be engaging, since my subscription continues for another 9 months. David will be sorely missed as well. If Cpod is in Taiwan now, will Connie and Vera also be gone from our lives? I meant to drop by the last time I was in Shanghai but didn't get around to it. So this is what I get for hesitating and missing my chance. Will we get introductions to the Taiwan crew? Was there some issue with the mainland government that necessitated the move to Taiwan? Will we now be learning putonghua with a Taiwanese accent? I am looking forward to getting more information. But anyway, farewell to all the Shanghai crew.
Connie & Vera ???
You really haven't been keeping up, have you!
Connie and Jiaojie were let go just over 12 months ago (Connie's last Qingwen was Dec 28 2013).
I don't know what happened to Vera, but her last lesson was June 30. I assume she was also given the flick - can anyone confirm or deny?
Here is my list of staff (those who appeared on Podcasts) who have vanished in the last 12 months (and a bit):
(1) John, (2) Connie, (3) Jiaojie, (4) Dilu, (5) Tom, (6) Greg, (7) Shanelle, (8) Maurice, (9) Jenny, (10) David
Have I missed anyone?
And other than John, how many can be confirmed as having left on their own volition?
markJanuary 02, 2015, 07:12 AM
I downloaded all of the advanced lessons and started binge listening to them, as my way to memorialize the Chinesepod that was. Interestingly, the early lessons aren't the same ones I remember listening to years ago. Although, the dialog is the same, they have become Connie and Jenny productions. I remember listening to versions where Jenny was trying out different co-hosts. I think some of the very earliest advanced lessons just aren't there. It seems even the past is not immune from change.
My personal feeling is that Chinesepod's greatest contribution to Chinese study has been to fill the gap between beginner materials and solely relying on materials produced for native Chinese speakers by native Chinese speakers. The upper-intermediate, advanced and media lessons are peerless, as far as I can tell. Unfortunately, this seems to have been a small market, or maybe, one that Chinesepod hasn't learned how to monitize properly.
Meanwhile, the supply of beginner materials for Chinese learners on the Web has become a crouded field, and just doing more lessons with good quality and interesting content, doesn't seem to be enough to break out of the pack.
Anyway, those are my thoughts as to why CPod is now making radical changes. ...just my own speculation.
nicksymondsonJanuary 03, 2015, 06:04 AM
I will just add my own fond wells to the CPod team having been subscribing for about 5 years now.
Nothing lasts for ever and I guess 9 years is a good run these days.
Thank you all for encouraging me and many others like me in my journey to learn Chinese.
I wish all the old staff in Shanghai good luck in the future.