China has proposed banning all news organizations not directly funded by the Communist Party.
The new law, drafted by the National Development and Reform Commission, would ban any private investment in “news gathering, editing and broadcasting.”
It marks the ruling CCP’s latest crackdown on private companies, after the country’s booming technology sector and billionaire owners were hammered earlier this year.
China to ban all private investment in media just in latest crackdown on business and freedom of expression by leader Xi Jinping’s government (file image)
According to the South China Morning Mail – any of the papers that may be affected by the change.
But the rules have generally only applied to physical papers and enforcement has been lax, allowing online outlets to grow with private investment.
The new law, drafted by the National Development and Reform Commission and currently under review, appears to be designed to close that loophole.
It’s included in a document called the Market Access Negative List, which outlines sectors where private investment — money not coming directly from the state or state-owned enterprises — is prohibited or restricted.
Point six on the list amounts to a broad and almost complete ban on private investment in all types of media – from news agencies to radio and TV and online content.
It would also prohibit private companies from broadcasting live anything related to “politics, economics, military and foreign affairs, or major activities or incidents in society, culture, technology, health, education and sports.”
Private media would also be banned from “publishing news released by foreign entities” – suggesting overseas outlets operating in China could also be caught up in the ban.
The ban would even affect “top and award ceremonies” organized by news publishers.
A retired professor at Shanxi University, who gave his name only as Luo, said: Radio Free Asia that the Communist Party ‘makes sure that it masters its message’.
Analysts said the ruling Communist Party of China “makes sure it controls its message” and wants “a dominant voice to rule everything” (file image)
“It wants a dominant voice to rule over everything. The message is very clear: don’t mess with the media and don’t try to do anything with it,” he said.
The move comes after the CCP also cracked down on the country’s tech sector – one of its largest and most profitable.
Publicly, the party has maintained that it is cracking down on wealth inequality, labor exploitation and anti-competitive practices.
But many believe President Xi Jinping has become wary of the growing power of the billionaires who run the industry, and wants to downsize it.
Formerly China’s richest man and owner of the South China Morning Post, Jack Ma is widely believed to have been censored by the CCP after publicly criticizing the way the country’s financial markets operate.
The billionaire then disappeared without explanation for five months, had his companies forcibly restructured and was fined billions.
Others point out that the companies targeted by the CCP’s crackdown have all raised funds in foreign markets, suggesting Xi is trying to limit China’s exposure to the influence of foreign money.
Ride-hailing company Didi, the Chinese equivalent of Uber, raised $4.4 billion when it debuted in New York in July — but just days later, it was pulled from app stores in China and banned new users. to accept.
Two other firms — truck driver app Manbang and recruiting firm Kanzhun — also faced similar investigations not long after flying into New York, destroying their value.