China media

It may never rival porcelain or Peking duck in popularity beyond China’s shores, but the “facekini” is being hailed by domestic newspapers as the country’s latest cultural gift to the world.

The recent publication by a New York-based style magazine, CR Fashion Book, of a photo shoot showing models wearing “pool masks” has prompted the Qingdao Evening News to claim the look as a foreign variation on a familiar theme in the north eastern seaside city.

“As soon as this photo shoot was published, the sharp-eyed among our netizens immediately recognised that this was none other than a ‘knock off’ of our Qingdao old woman’s ‘facekini’,” the newspaper saidRead more

China said on Tuesday it will tighten curbs on journalists to prevent the disclosure of state secrets, commercial secrets and “unpublicised information” as the administration of Xi Jinping reinforced controls over information amid outpourings of anti-Beijing sentiment in Hong Kong.

Xinhua, the Chinese official news agency, said that rules published by the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television prohibit disclosure of “various information, materials and news products that journalists may deal with during their work, including state secrets, commercial secrets and unpublicised information.”

None of the key terms used – including state secrets, commercial secrets and unpublicised information – were defined, leaving them open to interpretation by China’s army of censors both within media organisations and in several state bodies charged with regulating information industries. Read more

Plenty of western magazines and newspapers have hit the skids or even gone bust in recent years, victims of declining print advertising revenues in an increasingly internet-oriented world. Think of bankrupt Newsweek magazine, famously sold for $1.

Until recently, Chinese media companies were blissfully isolated from these trends, buoyed by a bullish economy and the relative novelty of consumer-oriented media in a sector long dominated by dowdy state mouthpieces.

No longer. As the Chinese economy slows and the online population expands, media malaise is now moving east. One company grappling with the changes is Modern Media Group, a Hong Kong-listed magazine publisher. Read more

China DailyTo date, the story of China’s growing presence in Africa has been mostly narrated by western media, African newspapers, and a universe of blogs, websites and social media outlets. Often, it is framed in the context of land-grabbing, resource-snatching, neocolonialism and invasion.

So perhaps a different perspective might be provided by China Daily? The state-run paper is launching a weekly Africa edition, and is keen to put its side of the story. Read more

As America votes, Chinese official media and the country’s netizens have offered a wide range of views on events across the Pacific, but one aspect keeps cropping up – the money. Read more

The New York Times just ain’t what it used to be. It’s full of sensationalism, plagiarism and out-and-out fake news. Loyal readers are losing their faith.

Or so goes the verdict from that arbiter of fine journalism: the People’s Daily, mouthpiece of the Communist Party of China. Read more

Clad in a blue plaid shirt and speaking with a rural accent, Miao Cuihua trips over her words as she demands unpaid wages, her “blood and sweat money” for toiling on a construction project.

Miao is certainly not the first migrant worker in China to complain about unpaid wages, but her act of protest has probably been seen by more of her fellow citizens than any other salary dispute in history. Read more

A pro-China Taiwanese media tycoon has rejected the conditions that media regulators put on the approval of his $2.4bn bid to takeover one of Taiwan’s leading cable networks.

Amidst concerns that Taiwan’s media was being warped by commercial interests in the mainland, Taipei regulators required that Tsai Eng-men spin off some of his existing news stations. That, he said, wasn’t going to happen. Read more

Chinese state media is hardly a bastion of free speech, but the Communist party mouthpiece has apparently fallen victim to a different form of outside manipulation.

On Wednesday, trading in People’s Daily Online, the recently listed web arm of the official newspaper, was halted. Read more

Cadres and capitalists alike have set aside their respective scruples and bought a slice of the Chinese Communist party’s publicity machine. As Simon Rabinovich reports for the FT, the IPO of the People’s Daily website in Shanghai on Friday raised Rmb1.38bn ($219m) in Shanghai, nearly triple its fundraising target.

Valued at 46 times its 2011 earnings, the company will trade at a multiple that is nearly 5 per cent higher than the industry norm for Chinese media groups and 200 per cent higher than the Chinese stock market average. But it’s not every day investors are offered a combination of new media and old-fashioned state backing. Read more

Since Bo Xilai, the ambitious but controversial Chinese politician, was sacked as Communist party secretary of Chongqing in mid-March, the party has cranked up its propaganda machine to levels not seen in years. One aim is to control the flow of unauthorised information through the Twitter-like microblogs, or weibo, which have become the driver behind China’s news agenda. Will it work? Read more

As promsed back on January 5, beyondbrics is pleased to bring you footage of Warren Buffett singing on Chinese broadcaster CCTV as part of the Chinese new year celebrations.

The 81-year-old so-called sage of Omaha played the ukulele and sang “I’ve been working on the railroad” – perhaps an apt choice given his large investment in US rail in 2009 (a $26.6bn purchase of Burlington Northern Santa Fe), and China’s huge high-speed rail roll-out. Buffett signed off with the Chinese greeting “Xie, xie”, which means “thank you”. Read more

Investors looking for musical inspiration for 2012 could do worse than tune in to Chinese television later this month. Warren Buffett, widely revered in China for his investment savvy, will sing and play guitar to celebrate China’s upcoming Lunar New Year in a specially recorded performance to be aired online by state television, according to Patti Waldmeir of the FT. Beyondbrics promises to bring you the footage, assuming it is available… Read more

Just at the point where eastern Europe faces a banking crisis, a Hungarian credit downgrade and the possible default of its neighbours, a friendly arm has been extended from China.

East meets east – the cover story of China Daily’s latest weekly magazine - comes across as something of a love letter to eastern Europe. Read more

When Occupy Wall Street was no more than an obscure little protest in New York, the Chinese state media were really intrigued by the movement. China Daily, the country’s largest English-language daily newspaper, blasted the Western media for allegedly hushing up the news. Over the past month, Communist party mouthpieces and nationalist tabloids have relished the chance to bash the West and lecture America.

But now that the protests have spread around the world and appear to be morphing into a movements against many things including ruthless capitalism, corruption, inequality and the arrogance of power, China’s rulers have apparently decided that this is getting too close to home. Read more