Freedom House Special Report: Beijing’s Global Megaphone

Beijing’s Global Megaphone: The Expansion of Chinese Communist Party Media Influence since 2017

By Sarah Cook, Senior Research Analyst for China, Hong Kong and Taiwan

The Chinese Communist Party and various Chinese government entities have long sought to influence public debate and media coverage about China outside the country. New research illustrates the ways in which CCP’s media influence is extending far beyond the borders of mainland China to reach audiences around the globe, via three key tactics: global censorship, propaganda, and control over content-delivery systems.

The Chinese Communist Party has expanded its efforts to shape news content around the world using three main strategies: promoting its own narratives through various forms of propaganda, suppressing critical viewpoints through direct and indirect censorship, and obtaining control over key content-delivery systems.

The past three years have featured the emergence of new tactics, including Russian-style disinformation campaigns on global social media, harassment of local mainstream media, politicized content manipulation on Chinese-owned platforms, and more explicit efforts to present China as a model for other countries.

The party’s efforts under Xi Jinping have been remarkably effective at improving China’s image in key regions, but they have also fueled a backlash, as journalists, policymakers, technology firms, and civil society organizations around the world launch their own initiatives to increase transparency, diversify funding sources, and protect press freedom.

Download and read the Special Report on the website of Freedom House

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