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China plans to halt private investment in media: Report

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As per the draft guidelines, privately owned firms will be barred from joining media companies

Beijing:

In an effort to tighten grip on all areas of the media, Chinese officials have proposed a ban on private investment in news outlets.

US broadcaster Voice of America (VOA) reported that according to the draft guidelines, privately-owned firms would be prohibited from engaging in media companies, including those that set up or run news operations or republish news produced by foreign outlets. Is.

Experts in the field say the proposals reflect Beijing’s ongoing efforts to silence opposition voices.

Wu Zuolai, a Chinese political commentator, told VOA, “The Communist Party is trying to keep all the news and commentary shows under its control. All the different voices have been eliminated.”

“Limiting the role of the media will distort public opinion, and local governments can enforce this rule with extremely strict measures,” said a poster on Zhihu.

This latest proposal to ban private investment in Chinese news outlets has sparked discussion on Chinese online and many experts believe the regulation will further curtail media freedom.

Traditionally, media such as newspapers have been largely funded through the public sector while other online news has been more dependent on private or foreign investment.

Cheng Yizhong, who runs a news website for Chinese expatriates in the US, said government funding has been the main source of income for media outlets in China since the 1990s.

According to Reporters Without Borders (RSF), China continues to carry out Internet censorship, surveillance and propaganda to unprecedented levels, making it one of the world’s worst countries for journalists and the “biggest jailer” of journalists.

The report, published in March this year, also said that online censorship, surveillance and propaganda has taken “unprecedented levels” since President Xi Jinping became China’s leader in 2013.

China’s Cyberspace Administration (CAC), an agency personally overseen by Xi, has taken a variety of measures aimed at controlling the information accessible to China’s 989 million Internet users.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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