China has had enough of the west interpreting the county through their eyes. The tight-lipped nation now plans to broadcast their world view globally.
China Xinhua News Network Corp. (CNC), the country’s biggest national news agency announced that they would launch a global, English-language television news network on July 1. While trials for the launch have already begun, the media conglomerate refused to divulge which countries the channel would be available in. The English language channel is expected to broadcast news segments, feature stories, weather updates and special bulletins that it will gather from its 117 bureaux around the world, which report in eight languages. Besides consolidating its news and information services, China is also planning on developing search engines, cell phone news services, cell phone TV services, Internet TV, e-commerce and online cartoon games. The media restructuring is expected to be funded by an IPO that will raise enough money to take China’s soft power global.
China is not new to broadcasting its views internationally. In January this year, Xinhua began broadcasting TV programs in Mandarin in Asian and select European countries. Last year, China Central Television (CCTV) began a 24-hour channel airing in 22 Arabic-speaking countries, reaching a total population of nearly 300 million people.
The point is to create a media empire and project China’s take on the world, a feat the Chinese media has perfected domestically. “CNC will offer an alternative source of information for a global audience and aims to promote peace and development by interpreting the world in a global perspective,” Xinhua president Li Congjun told the AFP.
At a time when global media are facing a crunch and fiercely competing with content online, Beijing has earmarked 45 billion yuan (US$6.5 billion) to fund the expansion of groups including Xinhua, state television station CCTV and China Radio International, according to Hong Kong media. The idea is to create a Chinese media empire, that projects views from the middle kingdom, as perceived by Beijing.
China’s media is highly controlled by the government, international news agencies have often been barred from reporting specific stories, the great firewall of China blocks websites unsavory for the Chinese and Tv programmes are screened before being aired. International news agencies including the Star Tv conglomerate owned by media mogul Rupert Murdoch, have tried entering the China broadcasting space and have either had to adhere to Beijing’s media management or refrain from operating behind the bamboo curtain. Those that make it through, are regulated to translate and subtitle all content into Mandarin.