The chief executive officer of The Paper, a slick new state-funded Chinese media site at, launched his venture in a most unusual fashion: with a nostalgic confessional about a drunken night during his senior year in college in 1990.

Qiu Bing described a young couple whom he had been friends with while an undergraduate, and how they left each other love notes in bottles and stashed them in a campus pond. It was a time before egoism and consumerism had taken hold of his country, waxed Qiu.

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