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Chinese Media Outlet Bans Use of Translations Not Provided by Xinhua News

South Korean daily newspaper Chosun Ilbo reported that a prominent Shanghai-based Chinese media outlet has banned editors and journalists from quoting foreign media reports translated by outlets other than China’s state-run Xinhua News Agency. The ban was allegedly issued in July after the outlet appointed a new president affiliated with the Chinese Communist Party. Analysts say the move reflects Beijing’s growing efforts to control the flow of information from abroad and convey the leadership’s narrative to the public.

The Chosun Ilbo article argues that this sort of information control is not without precedent in China, citing the security law that led Hong Kong outlets like Sing Tao Daily and Apple Daily to come under Beijing’s influence or cease operations. It represents China cutting off channels for “anti-China public opinion.” According to a Chinese journalist, domestic media can now only do independent reporting on “little things” concerning the country.

The article states that China started blocking the websites of major Western news outlets like Time and The Economist in 2016. Now, domestic media are restricted from citing foreign reports, cutting the flow of outside information into China. Recent years have also seen tight control over state media coverage of Xi Jinping at official events, with only pre-approved CCTV, Xinhua, and compliant outlets granted access. As a result, Chinese media present a uniform, government-sanctioned image of Xi, with only a few vetted experts allowed to comment.

Source: Central News Agency (Taiwan), December 5, 2023