China and the world: How Beijing spreads the message

The front page of the Communist Party's flagship newspaper the People's Daily and other newspapers. A Financial Times investigation found that party-affiliated outlets were reprinting or broadcasting their content in at least 200 nominally independen
The front page of the Communist Party's flagship newspaper the People's Daily and other newspapers. A Financial Times investigation found that party-affiliated outlets were reprinting or broadcasting their content in at least 200 nominally independent Chinese-language publications around the world.PHOTO: REUTERS

Chinese state media companies are offering free content to Chinese-language newspapers worldwide to influence overseas Chinese to support the Communist Party

The latest issue of the UK-Chinese Times, one of the mainstays of Britain's nearly 400,000-strong Chinese-speaking community, splashed on the House of Fraser's plan to close more than half of its department stores in the UK. The news organisation, with a print circulation of 40,000, has been providing news and information to its readers since 2003.

But the nature of that news has changed over time. Since 2010, the UK-Chinese Times, which is based in the southern commuter town of Milton Keynes, has partnered with the People's Daily, the official mouthpiece of the ruling Chinese Communist Party. The result is that, as well as publishing an insert from the People's Daily, the UK-Chinese Times runs dozens of articles identical to those printed by official Chinese media.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on July 15, 2018, with the headline 'China and the world: How Beijing spreads the message'. Print Edition | Subscribe