Established in 1931 as Red China News Agency, Xinhua News Agency, as it has been known since 1937, is the official state news agency of China and the largest news and information-gathering and distribution center in the country. Xinhua disseminates all information about government policies through its thirty-two branches in China, as well as its branches in more than one hundred countries.
As the official state news agency of China, and the country’s largest news organization, Xinhua News Agency 新华社 is the primary source for information about government policies, resolutions, and viewpoints throughout the country. Established in 1931 as Red China News Agency and renamed “Xinhua” in 1937, the agency has undergone steady growth since the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, and especially since China’s economic reforms and opening-up drive began in 1978. Xinhua today has more than seven thousand employees working in news coverage (domestic, international, and sports), management and operation, and technical support.
Xinhua operates a head office in Beijing; thirty-two domestic branches in China’s provinces and autonomous regions, including Hong Kong and Macao (but excluding Taiwan), as well as reporters substations in some fifty cities: and overseas branches in more than one hundred countries. Five regional offices authorized to release news include: an Asia-Pacific regional office headquartered in Hong Kong, the Latin American regional office in Mexico City, the African regional office in Nairobi, the Middle East regional office in Cairo, and the French regional office in Paris.
Domestically the agency releases daily news to newspapers and radio and TV stations at the county, prefecture, and provincial levels. Overseas it releases news in Chinese, English, French, Spanish, Russian, Arabic, and Portuguese. It also releases economic information daily to Chinese and foreign clients. It offers special reports and news features to more than 130 countries. It has cooperation agreements on news exchange with news agencies or media organizations in nearly one hundred countries. The Xinhua Audio and Video Center, established in 1993, provides news and special programs for TV stations and audio and video customers.
Xinhua publishes nearly forty newspapers and magazines, including Xinhua Daily Telegraph, News Bulletin of the Xinhua News Agency (in English, French, Spanish, Arabic, and Russian), Reference News (daily), Economic Information Daily, China Securities (daily), Shanghai Securities (daily), Sports Express (weekly), Outlook (weekly), China Comment (fortnightly), Globe (monthly), Chinese Reporters (monthly), Photography World (monthly), Great Rural World (monthly), Securities Investment Weekly, China Photo (quarterly), and China Yearbook (in Chinese and English). The Xinhua Publishing House, an affiliate, annually publishes four hundred books titles on current affairs and politics.
In recent years Xinhua has established more business operations such as China News Development Co., China National United Advertising Corporation, China Photo Service, Global Public Relations Co., and Hangzhou International Public Relations Co. Xinhua also operates the News Research Institute, the World Questions Research Center, and the China School of Journalism for journalism research and professional training. Xinhua made its information available online in 1997 and in 2000 established its website, which releases news in Chinese, English, French, Spanish, Russian, and Arabic, using three domain names: xinhuanet.com, xinhua.org, and news.cn. An English-only version is also available at chinaview.cn.
New China Agency to Handle Foreign and Financial News
BEIJING—China has named the State Council Information Office, a Cabinet-level agency, as the new regulator of foreign news agencies and financial information providers, replacing the official Xinhua news agency, Xinhua reported.
The announcement, which was issued Friday and took effect immediately, follows a complaint about new Xinhua regulations brought to the World Trade Organization by the U.S., the European Union and Canada last year.
The new rules would have required foreign financial information providers such as Thomson Reuters Corp., Bloomberg L. P. and Dow Jones & Co. to sell their products through an entity designated by Xinhua, and to disclose sensitive commercial information.
The complaint stated that the new rules constituted a conflict of interest since Xinhua was both a regulator and a market competitor.
In response to the complaint, China in November agreed to end Xinhua’s regulatory control, to allow foreign financial information providers to sell directly to customers and to appoint an independent regulator, which wouldn’t share proprietary information.
The previous Xinhua regulatory regime distinguished between foreign financial information providers, selling to financial professionals, and foreign news agencies such as the Associated Press and Agence France Presse, supplying a media market that includes newspapers, broadcasters and Web sites.
Friday’s announcement made clear that both groups would now be regulated by the State Council Information Office.
It isn’t clear how foreign news agencies will be allowed to conduct commercial activities under the new regulator. They are now required to distribute through Xinhua, which has long claimed a monopoly in this area.
Set up in 1991, the SCIO is a ministerial-level agency led by Minister Wang Chen.
According to its Web site, the agency’s chief role is to raise awareness and understanding of China and the country’s issues through media.
Source: Wu, J. R.. (2009, February 2). New China agency to handle foreign and financial news. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved March 23, 2009, from http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123348675730736723.html
50 years of new China’s media. (2000). Beijing: China Journalism Yearbook Publishing House.
China journalism yearbook: 2006. (2006). Beijing: China Journalism Yearbook Publishing House.
China journalism yearbook: 2007. (2007). Beijing: China Journalism Yearbook Publishing House.
Source: Yu, Xuejian (2009). Xinhua News Agency. In Linsun Cheng, et al. (Eds.), Berkshire Encyclopedia of China, pp. 2517–2518. Great Barrington, MA: Berkshire Publishing.
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