In addition to using advertisements, the CCP has also established business partnerships with English-language online media
[Epoch Times August 20, 2021](Epoch Times reporter Cai Rong New York reported) The latest issue of “China Briefing” by the American think tank Jamestown Foundation pointed out that the official mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist Party “Xinhua News Agency” In addition to “advertising”, the strategy of the company is also developing another way to carry out large-scale publicity. That is to establish business partnerships with English-language online media and cover up their sources of materials under the banner of reputable and allegedly objective news. These practices are more subtle and may be more effective.
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The author of this article, John Dotson, discussed in his first article in April this year that “Xinhua News Agency” and other state-owned Chinese media have been published in mainstream English newspapers in the United States for many years. Paid interstitial “advertisements” for news and editorials. For example, Xinhua News Agency usually uses “China Watch” and “China Focus” as labels for advertising.
In the second article published on August 17th, Dothan stated that in addition to borrowing overseas newspapers to publish news “ads”, Xinhua News Agency has also taken bolder measures to cooperate with foreign news agencies (such as Reuters) and online news dissemination agencies. (For example, Microsoft’s MSN) Establish broader business relationships, usually to promote the CCP’s narrative in subtle ways that might evade the attention of regular news consumers.
Microsoft MSN Online News Case
The article studies two cases, MSN and Reuters. Microsoft’s business history in China can be traced back to the early 1990s. Its friendly relationship with the Chinese government is reflected in the company’s search engine Bing and Internet portal LinkedIn continue to operate in China (albeit a censored version). Competitors of other foreign information technology companies have been blocked or forced to withdraw from the Chinese market.
Dothan said that although this friendly relationship has attracted public attention, foreign technology companies such as Microsoft and Apple are facing controversy in adapting to Chinese government policies, and their business contacts with China’s national propaganda agencies “are far from being noticed.” In the remarks column, he cited a screenshot of an article warning Taiwan’s “separatism” activities on the People’s Daily of the Communist Party of China on March 9 this year. The English article above points to links to multiple social media platforms. In addition to Sina.com, Apple The News logo is clearly visible.
Dothan said that Microsoft’s news aggregation service MSN has become an important portal for repackaging Xinhuanet’s content, such as the US-China “trade war” and the Tibet issue. The source of the article is a small Xinhua News Agency logo.
A more complicated situation is the “twice hosting”. Dothan cited an example from April this year. An article on the MSN platform about China’s military exercises around Taiwan stated that “Taiwan independence elements insist on making provocative remarks and holding exercises” and the United States “expresses support for the’Taiwan independence’ forces.” As a result, “Taiwan separatists and the United States gave mainland China and the People’s Liberation Army no choice but to strengthen combat readiness.”
The top of the title of the article is annotated as “Manila Times”, and the smaller print mark at the bottom is “Global Times”. The party’s mouthpiece “Universal” is the true original source of the article.
Dothan likens this phenomenon to “propaganda laundering” (propaganda laundering). That is, the materials of Xinhua News Agency will be released first—regardless of whether it is through advertising, free copyright or other incentives—and then reappear as nominal objective materials through online distribution services such as MSN.
Microsoft’s MSN has not yet responded to the Epoch Times reporter’s request for comment.
Two purposes of multi-level business relationships
The spokesperson of the Chinese Communist Party’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Hua Chunying, declared in a statement on May 11: “No one can deprive Chinese media such as Xinhua News Agency and other Chinese media from the socialist country of their right to exchange and cooperation. This alone is to blame. The exchange and cooperation between Xinhua News Agency and other institutions is a certain kind of ideological prejudice and political discrimination.”
But Dothan pointed out that the role of “Xinhua News Agency” is not the same as that of similar institutions in democratic countries, such as the BBC in Britain, the “Voice of Germany” in Germany, or the “Central News Agency” in Taiwan. Xinhua News Agency is the official mouthpiece of the ruling party of the Communist Party of China. The General Secretary of the Communist Party of China Xi Jinping has always emphasized that “journalism is the mouthpiece of the party and the people” and has “an important task of guiding public opinion”. It is necessary to publicize the narrative of the Chinese Communist Party and “tell Chinese stories well abroad. “.
Finally, Dothan bluntly stated that the CCP and its state media under its control seek increasingly complex and multi-level business relationships with the English network for two purposes: First, by repacking Xinhua’s promotional materials under another trustworthy organization’s name. In order to seek wider dissemination and higher acceptance; secondly, the inclusion of foreign news media into profitable relationships will force the editorial line to gradually change into a narrative that is more suitable for the CCP.
The first goal is being achieved, and whether the second goal is achieved will depend on the company involved.
The author of this article, Dothan, is a former editor of the Jamestown Foundation. He is currently the deputy director of the Global Taiwan Institute. The author expresses his own views in this article and does not represent any organization. The full text can be viewed at the news link: https://jamestown.org/program/xinhua-infiltrates-western-electronic-media-part-2-relationships-with-news-agencies-and-distribution-services/. ◇
Editor in charge: Li Yue#