China plans to ban non-Communist media in yet another blow to free speech, World News
In another blow to the country’s freedom of expression, the Chinese government is proposing new regulations that would ban news reporting by sources not directly funded by the Communist Party.
The restrictions would strengthen the Chinese government’s control over news and information.
Read also | China worst internet freedom abuser, Iceland with most internet freedom, report says
According to a document filed with China’s National Development and Reform Council on Friday, private money cannot be used to support the collection, dissemination and distribution of information, including social media.
Watch | WION Wideangle: China: censorship, repression and chaos
Read also | Today, China’s move to cut silicon production is disrupting the global economy
He said privately funded groups “should not engage in information gathering, editing or dissemination activities.”
It would also prohibit media outlets from duplicating information produced by foreign media outlets.
Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post, which is owned by Alibaba, and financial news site Caixin, which is funded by Tencent, could be affected.
Read also | Social media disinformation campaign in favor of China spreads to new languages and countries: report
According to a measure posted on the Chinese Communist Party (CPC) website, the State Development and Reform Commission (SDRC) is “seeking public opinion” on adding private sector involvement in media organizations to a list of banned businesses, according to Free Asia Radio.
China has one of the most restricted media environments in the world, depending on censorship to regulate news content, online and on social media, according to CFR analysis.
The Chinese government is using libel suits, arrests and other tactics to force Chinese journalists and media companies to curtail themselves.
Many US websites, including Facebook, Instagram, and other Google services, are blocked in China.
Chinese authorities are able to crack down on newspaper reports claiming that they are disclosing state secrets and harming the country.
Read also | Three hours a week: China’s new rules for children playing video games
In China, the notion of state secret remains ambiguous, allowing authorities to remove any material they deem harmful to their political or economic interests.
(With contributions from agencies)