China Approves Giant Propaganda Machine to Improve Global Image

Keith Zhai
Bloomberg
China has approved the creation of one of the world’s largest propaganda machines as it looks to improve its global image, according to a person familiar with the matter.

China’s Media Is Struggling to Overcome Its Racial Stereotypes of Africa

Dani Madrid-Morales
Quartz
For most Chinese people, the Spring Festival is a time to honor family ties, friendships and acquaintances.

Turning against Trump: How the Chinese Covered the Climate Pact Exit

New York Times
Mr. Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris agreement gave fresh material to one of the Chinese state media’s favorite propaganda themes: the idea that Western democracy is flawed, chaotic and prone to social strife.

Xi Jinping Is Only Halfway through His Rule yet China’s Already Trumpeting His Legacy

Zheping Huang
Quartz
Xi is set to start his second five-year term with the party congress meeting this fall. In the past few months, China’s propaganda machines have been busy churning out videos crafting his personal image.

China Consumer Day Show Skewers Nike Shoes, Muji Foods

Jackie Cai and Adam Jourdan
Reuters
China’s annual consumer rights day television show turned its spotlight on U.S. sports brand Nike Inc for misleading advertising and Japanese brand Muji for selling food products allegedly sourced from part of Japan affected by radiation.

China’s Real ‘House of Cards’: TV Series Unveils Graft Excess

Ting Shi
Bloomberg
The eight-episode series, called “Always On the Road,” is being beamed daily to hundreds of millions of Chinese homes through Oct. 25 on CCTV’s Channel 1

Sinica Podcast

10.14.16

An American’s Seven Months in a Chinese Jail

Kaiser Kuo, Jeremy Goldkorn & more from Sinica Podcast
In 2009, Michael Manning was working in Beijing for a state-owned news broadcaster by day, but he spent his nights selling bags of hashish. His position with CCTV was easy and brought him into contact with Chinese celebrities, while his other trade...

China’s Media Challenges Western Narratives of Africa

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
The Chinese media presence across Africa has expanded dramatically over the past ten years, as Beijing has built a vast distribution network for its newspaper, radio, and TV content. China’s flagship TV network, China Central Television (CCTV),...

A Chinese Journalist Reflects on Reporting the China-Africa Story

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
How foreign journalists report on the China-Africa story is often determined by the national origin of their news organization. While there are no doubt exceptions, the U.S. news media frequently frame China as the neo-colonial aggressor and Africa...

China Name and Shame Night Leaves Consumer Companies on Edge

Rachel Chang
Bloomberg
The three top areas of consumer complaints were e-commerce websites, car sales, and mobile phones.

Conversation

01.20.16

Beijing’s Televised Confessions

Jeremy Goldkorn, David Bandurski & more
Recent days have seen two more in a long string of televised “confessions” on China Central Television, that of Swedish human rights activist Peter Dahlin and Hong Kong bookseller Gui Minhai. Did these gentlemen break any Chinese laws? What do these...

‘Mission: Impossible—Rogue Nation’ Revs to Record Opening Day in China

Pamela McClintock
Hollywood Reporter
The Tom Cruise movie scored the top opening of all time for a 2D Hollywood title with $18.5 million on Tuesday.

China TV Anchor Bi Fujian to be Punished for Mao Insult

BBC
He committed "a serious violation of political discipline" mocking the man who led the Cultural Revolution and sparked a crippling famine...

China Seeks Businessman Said to Have Fled to U.S., Further Straining Ties

Michael Forsythe, Mark Mazetti
New York Times
Ling Wancheng is the younger brother of Ling Jihua, who for years held a post akin to that of the White House chief of staff.

Palace Intrigue: Chinese Soldiers Storm Replica of Taiwan Presidential Office

Chun Han Wong
Wall Street Journal
Is Beijing doubling down on its longstanding threat to reclaim Taiwan by force?

CCTV Shows Moment Aftershocks Hit Tibet after Nepal Earthquake

Guardian
The footage shows roads and buildings shaking violently in Gyirong county, which neighbours Nepal. 

TV Presenter Insults Mao at Private Dinner

Tania Branigan
Guardian
CCTV is investigating a top presenters after he was caught calling Mao a “son of a bitch” at a private dinner.

Seeing Through the Smog

Wenjuan Zhang
China Open Research Network
Potential impacts of the documentary Under the Domes on China’s Civic Participation.

Sinica Podcast

03.09.15

Under the Dome

Kaiser Kuo, David Moser & more from Sinica Podcast
Under the Dome, Chai Jing's breakout documentary on China's catastrophic air pollution problem, finally hit insurmountable political opposition last Friday after seven days in which the video racked up over 200 million views. The eventual...

China Blocks Web Access to ‘Under the Dome’ Documentary on Pollution

Edward Wong
New York Times
The drama over the video has ignited speculation over which groups supported it and which sought to kill it.

Conversation

03.03.15

Why Has This Environmental Documentary Gone Viral on China’s Internet?

Angel Hsu, Michael Zhao & more
[Updated: March 6,  2015] Our friends at Foreign Policy hit the nail on the head by headlining writer Yiqin Fu's Monday story "China's National Conversation about Pollution Has Finally Begun." What happened? Well, in the...

Beijing Quietly Curbs Discussion of Documentary on Air Pollution

Te-Ping Chen
Wall Street Journal
Censors stepped in to tamp down the buzz around an air-pollution documentary that drew 100 million views. 

Pollution Documentary ‘Under the Dome’ Blankets Chinese Internet

Te-Ping Chen
Wall Street Journal
Pollution Documentary ‘Under the Dome’ Blankets Chinese Internet http://blogs.wsj.com/chinarealtime/2015/03/02/pollution-documentary-under-the-dome-blankets-chinese-internet/

The Film That Is Going to Change China

peter Cai
Business Spectator
Chai Jing's stunning documentary on the smog problem was viewed more than 100 million times in little over two days...

Media

02.10.15

Chinese Corruption, Now Officially Hilarious

Rachel Lu
Corruption is finally funny—at least, according to the Chinese Communist Party. That’s because comedic performances in the upcoming February 18 performance of China’s annual New Year Gala, a variety show on China Central Television (CCTV) expected...

China Strives to Be on African Minds, and TV Sets

Bree Feng
New York Times
While China imposes strict controls on foreign-produced entertainment at home, it is also eager to see its cultural products embraced abroad. And in Africa, Chinese television shows have become immensely popular — at least according to the Chinese...

Viewpoint

11.21.14

“Getting Pantsed” by the “Central People’s Court”

Hu Yong
In December of last year CCTV producer Wang Qinglei wrote a post on his Weibo account criticizing the Chinese government’s campaign-style attacks on prominent social media figures and arguing the media had also been drawn in and was “sidestepping...

In Televised Confession, Guo Meimei Blames Vanity for Her Misdeeds

AMY QIN
New York Times
Guo Meimei, whose name has come to be inextricably linked with the Chinese public’s distrust of official charities, was shown on CCTV state television on Sunday night confessing to having fabricated her association with the Red Cross Society of...

Media

07.21.14

Everybody Hates Rui

He may be widely reviled in his home country, but oh, what a resume: The son of an author and screenwriter; a graduate of the prestigious China Foreign Affairs University; a Yale World Fellow; and state-run China Central Television (CCTV)’s best-...

Edelman, Rui Chenggang, and China PR

David Wolf
Silicon Hutong
Operating ethically is seen as naive at best, and culturally imperialist at worst (“how dare you impose your values on us!”).

China TV Anchor Known For Fatriotic Views is Held in Corruption Probe

Los Angeles Times
For years, TV news anchor Rui Chenggang has been a China booster and an icon for China’s global “soft power” push. But in a development that’s shocked the nation, Rui has been detained on suspicion of corruption, the scourge of the system he has...

CCTV Africa: The Frontline of Soft-Power Diplomacy

Eric Olander, Cobus van Staden & more
Since its launch in 2012, CCTV Africa has grown considerably in its distribution and programming. However, the central question remains as to whether or not anyone is actually watching, to justify the massive investment undertaken by the Chinese...

China T.V. Expose on Sex Workers Sparks Angry Backlash

Julie Makinen
Los Angeles Times
A salacious investigative report on state-run C.C.T.V., detailing widespread prostitution in the southern city of Dongguan, boomeranged on the broadcaster as a vocal contingent of citizens rallied to the defense of the city’s sex workers. ...

China Crushes Puny US Super Bowl Audience: 704 Million Watch New Year Gala

Clifford Coonan
Hollywood Reporter
Some 814 million watched the Lunar New Year TV extravaganza from China Central Television—way more than the 112 million viewers for the 2014 Super Bowl on Fox in the U.S. 

China Media: Xi's Chinese New Year Greetings

BBC
President Xi Jinping said the Communist Party of China “firmly relying on the people, including non-communist members, defeated various challenges and difficulties in the last year and achieved outstanding results.”

Spring Festival Gala Performance by Chinese Rock Icon in Doubt

Luo Tian
New York Times
The popularity and pizzazz of China's “Godfather of Rock” is not worth the political risk for CCTV. ...

China: Here Are Some Great Things About Toxic Air

Emily Rauhala
Time
China's state-run TV tries to put a positive spin on toxic haze. Nice try, guys, nice try...

China’s Silly War on Starbucks Lattes

Rachel Lu
A C.C.T.V. investigation into Starbucks’ jacked-up prices in Mainland China has backfired, prompting many netizens to ask why the television station doesn’t cover more widespread and egregious injustices.

Reports

10.22.13

CCTV’s International Expansion: China’s Grand Strategy for Media?

Anne Nelson
Center for International Media Assistance
China Central Television has come a long ways since its founding as a domestic party propaganda outlet in 1958. The domestic service has been supplemented by an international service, boasting three major global offices in Beijing, Washington, and...

Conversation

10.10.13

CCTV Network News Broadcast

from Free Republic
Following is a transcript of the network news broadcast of China Central Television on September 30, 2013:央视网消息(新闻联播): 9月30日上午,在中华人民共和国64周年国庆前夕,On the morning of September 30th, on the eve of the 64th anniversary of the People's Republic of...

Conversation

09.17.13

What’s Behind China’s Recent Internet Crackdown?

Xiao Qiang, John Garnaut & more
Last weekend, Charles Xue Manzi, a Chinese American multi-millionaire investor and opinion leader on one of China’s most popular microblogs, appeared in handcuffs in an interview aired on China Central Television (CCTV). Xue is just the most visible...

China Seeks Soft Power Influence In U.S. Through C.C.T.V.

David Folkenflik
NPR
“This fixation on soft power arises from their deep and abiding insecurity and sense of not being respected and of being hectored and bullied by the world over the last century and a half.”

Apple’s Apology In China Part of ‘Rite Of Passage’ For Foreign Companies

Neil Hughes
Apple Insider
The same newspapers that attacked Apple and even China's Foreign Ministry are now heaping praise on the American company,  calling Apple’s revised policies evidence that the company had “conscientiously” responded to consumers...

Conversation

04.02.13

Why Did Apple Apologize to Chinese Consumers and What Does It Mean?

Jeremy Goldkorn, Isabel Hilton & more
Jeremy Goldkorn:On March 22, before the foreign media or Apple themselves seemed to have grasped the seriousness of the CCTV attacks on the Californian behemoth, I wrote a post on Danwei.com that concluded:“The signs are clear that regulators and...

China Austerity Drive Becomes A Joke

William Kazer and Olivia Geng
Wall Street Journal
Beijing recently decided to take a more populist approach to its austerity campaign by making it a theme of the entertainment on CCTV’s widely watched Lunar New Year’s Eve gala. 

Media

02.15.13

Free Coffee for North Korea?

Ouyang Bin & Zhang Xiaoran
What should China do to persuade its moody ally North Korea to comply with international restrictions on its nuclear ambitions?“Free conference rooms, free coffee, free soft drinks and dessert,” was the surprising and quickly viral Internet...

Media

02.12.13

Joke About Gay Romance on Chinese New Year Gala Lights Up Blogosphere

Is “bromance” in the air? Not according to state-run China Central Television (CCTV).{vertical_photo_right}Thousands of fans yelled “Get together” in unison when piano prodigy Li Yundi made a guest appearance at Chinese-American pop sensation Leehom...

Celine Dion to Peform at China Central Television’s New Year Gala Show

Clarence Tsui
Hollywood Reporter
The Canadian singer will become the first Western artist to appear on the Chinese state broadcaster’s annual festive program, which is the most-watched TV event in the world.

Why China Struggles to Find Soft Power Voice

Ying Zhu
CNN
It’s been almost a year since the U.S. outpost of China Central Television (CCTV) launched under much scrutiny. So far, though, it hasn’t made much of a splash.

China Broadcaster’s One-Day TV ‘Upfront’ Raises $2.5 Billion

Anita Chang Beattie
AdAge
Government broadcaster CCTV saw bids for 2013 prime-time ad sales jump 11% from this year, driven mostly by local marketers.

CCTV Comes to America

Alex Pasternack
Foreign Policy
 CCTV America's coverage of China is largely scrubbed of controversy and upbeat in tone, with a heavy emphasis on business and cultural stories in places where Beijing hopes to gain influence. Reporting on topics sensitive to Beijing,...

Chinese ‘Soft Power' Expands in Africa with CCTV

Ronald Yick
Global Voices
Chinese government state-controlled media, China Central Television (CCTV), launched its African regional bureau in Nairobi, Kenya on January 11, 2012. While its presence has diversified the media landscape in Africa, media watchdogs and...

Winter For Chinese Media: Why So Many Respected Journalists Are Leaving the Field

Yueran Zhang
Although the government’s control over news media has always been tight, the range and intensity of the purge this year has been rarely seen, suggesting that the censors’ controlling hand is tightening. As Wang Keqin, a former investigative...

Media

09.06.12

Tangled in the Party Line

Amy Qin
Netizens on China’s popular microblogging service Sina Weibo are in a fit of pique over remarks made by a PLA major general about the importance of Chinese TV commentators holding “unconditionally” to the Party line. Zhang Zhaozhong, a major general...

Crocodile Tears? CCTV Blasted Over Pre-Cooked Liu Xiang Coverage

Lillian Lin
WSJ: China Real Time Report
What do convicted murderer Gu Kailai, serial killer Zhou Kehua and Chinese hurdler Liu Xiang have in common? As of Wednesday, all three stand at the center of viral, conspiracy-driven controversies that say unflattering things about the...

Pursuing Soft Power, China Puts Stamp on Africa’s News

Andrew Jacobs
New York Times
China’s investment prowess and construction know-how is widely on display in this long-congested African capital. A $200 million ring road is being built and partly financed by Beijing. The international airport is undergoing a $208 million...

Media

06.11.12

Did A CCTV Anchor’s Outburst Even Matter?

Hu Yong
Yang Rui, a host on China Central Television's (CCTV) English-language channel, called on the Public Security Bureau via Sina Weibo on May 16 to “clean out foreign trash, wipe out foreign snake heads (human smugglers), root out foreign spies,...

Media

05.25.12

Can CCTV Become the Next Al Jazeera?

Amy Qin
In a recent piece published in the Columbia Journalism Review, Sambuddha Mitra Mustafi assesses the early stages of China's multibillion dollar efforts to expand its domestic media empire onto the global stage. Just this year, CCTV launched two...