The Marco Polo Project was first imagined in December 2010, in a room of Tianjin Normal University.
The project took shape in the first months of 2011, while Julien gathered a team from multiple cultural and professional backgrounds – language teachers learners, web developers, bloggers and academics. (See Our volunteers and Our board)
After discussion among the founding team, the Marco Polo Project was incorporated as a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee in May 2011, and a website prototype was launched in June 2011.
In September 2011, the Marco Polo Project launched the second phase of its development. We started running an internship program, developing editorial, marketing and business teams.
In February 2012, we launched a working beta version of our website, with better design, a more user-frienly translating interface, and a wider range of features. By the end of June, we had gathered a database of 150 articles from the Chinese web, 50 of which were translated into English, and 10 into French. We also developed a formal partnerships with Beijing-based blog Danwei, and started publishing a weekly ‘digest’ of Chinese online magazine my1510.
In 2013, we started running workshops and translation events. In July 2013, we launched a new version of our website with improved functionalities and a fresh look and feel. And in August 2013, we received a grant from DFAT’s Australia China Council to run the first Australia-China Digital Literature Festival.