“The Great Blessings That Radio Will Engender in This Old and Populous Land”: American Expectations and Radio in China
  • Michael A. Krysko
Part of the Palgrave Studies in the History of the Media book series (PSHM)


On January 23, 1923, Americans in Shanghai enthusiastically awaited the very first radio broadcast of entertainment programming in China. “Businessmen were of the unanimous opinion that the innovation would prove of unusual benefit, both from an educational and entertainment point of view,” the American-owned China Press reported, “and the promoters of the unique scheme have been deluged with congratulations.” E.G. Osborn, a British-born American, founded the radio station over the protests of the Chinese government. Located in Shanghai’s International Settlement, station XRO stood outside Chinese jurisdiction. Treaties dating back to the nineteenth century and an earlier era of Western imperialism had established the settlement as a foreign-controlled enclave. Osborn’s station became the first in a succession of foreign-operated stations that monopolized Shanghai’s airwaves until the first Chinese-owned station hit the airwaves in 1927. XRO’s music, news, and entertainment broadcasts, the China Press noted, were slated to begin at 8:00pm. The broadcast schedule included a violin solo by renowned violinist Jaraniev Kocian of Prague, a saxophone solo by George Hall, singing by the San Francisco-based Golden Gate Quartet, and dance music; news bulletins from the United States, Europe, and China would be interspersed with the entertainment throughout the night.1


Radio Broadcast Foreign Relation Unanimous Opinion Broadcast Schedule American Perspective 
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Copyright information

© Michael A. Krysko 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael A. Krysko
    • 1
  1. 1.Kansas State UniversityUSA

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