On August 15, 2016, British Financial Times Chinese published an article titled “People’s Daily and British MailOnline Share Contents.” People’s Daily is the Chinese Communist Party’s official propaganda mouthpiece. MailOnline, which is under Britain’s Daily Mail, is very popular for gossip type news and famous right-wing views (236 million unique visitors and 15.1 million daily visitors). A new partnership between People’s Daily and MailOnline has been established, which enables both papers to exchange up to 40 articles per week.
British Daily Mail wants to drive its digital business growth by sharing the Chinese Communist Party’s digital content. Martin Clarke, chief editor of MailOnline, stated that it is wise to have a partnership with China to swap each other’s content because Britain’s official policy is to build a closer trade, economic, and cultural relationship with China.
The Chinese Communist Party wants to have partnerships with major Western media in order to improve its image in the West. Prof. Kerry Brown of the Lau China Institute at King’s College, London, expressed the view that, “The Chinese Communist Party is trying its best to legitimize itself and also send its messages out.” “This is definitely an unholy marriage.”
MailOnline is not the first London-based publishing company that has signed a partnership agreement with China’s official propaganda organizations. The Telegraph Media Group and other Western news publishers have also signed similar agreements. They publish sponsored articles from the Chinese official English-language newspaper, China Daily.
[Editor’s note: No reports on the agreement could be found in Chinese newspapers or on websites based in China, including People’s Daily.]
Source: Financial Times Chinese Edition, August 15, 2016