China's Xinhua launches global English TV channel

CNC logo The channel will broadcast news, features and lifestyle shows

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China's state news agency Xinhua has launched a 24-hour global news channel in English.

Officials said CNC World would present "an international vision with a China perspective".

The launch is being seen as an attempt by China to develop its influence abroad and counter foreign media views.

Beijing keeps close control over media in the country - it often accuses Western media of bias and of reporting only negative news stories from China.

CNC - China Xinhua News Network Corporation - said it would offer "a better view of China to its international audiences" and enable "more voices to be heard by the rest of the world".

"It will broadcast news reports in a timely way and objectively, and be a new source of information for global audiences," said Xinhua's President Li Congjun at a launch ceremony in Beijing.

New global English TV channels

  • NHK World - launched Japan, 2009
  • Press TV - Iranian, launched 2007
  • France 24 - launched 2006
  • Al Jazeera English - from Qatar since 2006
  • RT - from Russia, launched 2005

He said the launch was an "integral part" of Xinhua's efforts to adapt to the "rapid growth of new media".

Wu Jincai, controller of CNC World, told the BBC's Chinese service: "China is a big country hoping for peaceful development, and if we have the ability to do this, we should do it."

He said the channel was initially broadcasting in Hong Kong but aims to reach 50 million viewers in Europe, North America and Africa within its first year.

Mr Wu insisted that the coverage would remain objective, saying: "We are a news channel, not a propaganda station."

Global reach

Xinhua is already the largest of China's three state media organisations, alongside the flagship Communist Party newspaper, the People's Daily, and broadcaster CCTV.


Shirong Chen

Since 2008, Xinhua has been trying to transform itself from an official news agency to a multimedia empire with direct access to audiences both at home and abroad.

China has earmarked billions of dollars to extend its influence overseas with two enlarged news agencies, two newspapers, and two expanded international broadcasting arms. It wants its voice heard more, to counter Western media dominance.

Chinese officials keenly felt the lack of soft power platforms in early 2008 when they alleged biased Western coverage of violence in Tibet and protests surrounding the Olympic torch global relay.

Beijing has been pouring millions of dollars into the broadcasters in an attempt to promote its own messages about China to the wider world.

Last July, CCTV began broadcasting in Arabic to some 300 million potential viewers in 22 countries in the Middle East and North Africa.

The channel was already broadcasting in English, French and Spanish as well as Chinese.

All the media outlets, as well as smaller independent news organisations, are closely controlled by Beijing, either directly or through self-censorship to avoid being shut down. They routinely face restrictions on what stories they can report.

China frequently complains that foreign news organisations present a biased or unfair view of news from the country, focusing on negative stories and ignoring positive developments.

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New York Times China Puts Best Face Forward With News Channel - 8 hrs ago
NDTV China's English news channel at Times Square - 9 hrs ago China funds English TV news channel CNC World in push for soft power - 16 hrs ago
The Independent Global English news channel launched - 16 hrs ago
Financial TimesChina joins global media with network launch - 22 hrs ago
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