Here's how China controls the media narrative in foreign countries

DelhiEdited By: Palki SharmaUpdated: Jul 02, 2020, 09:20 PM IST


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From trade war to media war, the US and China are fighting on many fronts and the latest flashpoint is media.

From trade war to media war, the US and China are fighting on many fronts and the latest flashpoint is media.

China's use of state media to push propaganda is unmatched and the US government wants none of it on American soil.

According to the US, Beijing has full editorial control over the content, and hence, they will be treated as embassies. As part of this move, the companies will have to report details of their staff, and also reveal the properties they hold in the US. Currently, at least nine Chinese outlets are under scrutiny.

China has retaliated, imposing similar sanctions on US media outlets in China including the Associated Press, the National Public Radio, CBS News, and the United Press International News Agency.

Also Read: China blocks access to WION website after India bans 59 Chinese apps

China runs a worldwide propaganda machine to control the narrative. Beijing conducts a media outreach campaign in almost every continent, under which journalists are called to China on fully-sponsored trips. 

Furthermore, Chinese state media content, such as Xinhua and CGTN offer stories and videos for free. They also run paid content in foreign outlets.

Also Read: China's global media spending suggests US concerns about a 'media war' are not unfounded
In an effort to control the content, China is buying legacy companies or setting up digital joint ventures overseas. Chinese media presence is higher in the Asia-Pacific region and Africa, compared to Latin America and Europe. China's Star Times in Africa has become a dominating satellite television player.

In Hong Kong, the South China Morning Post is owned by the Alibaba group.

China's reputation has taken a beating during the pandemic and its dependent on its media agencies now more than ever. The dragon needs the propaganda machinery to clear the blot on its name.