Media Lockdown in China

Quartz – In the latest sign that China’s long-touted “opening up” is reversing into a “closing down,” a Chinese ministry has issued new rules that ban any foreign-invested company from publishing anything online in China, effective next month.

“Sino-foreign joint ventures, Sino-foreign cooperative ventures, and foreign business units shall not engage in online publishing services,” the rules state. Any publisher of online content, including “texts, pictures, maps, games, animations, audios, and videos,” will also be required to store their “necessary technical equipment, related servers, and storage devices” in China, the directive says.

Companies will then be expected to self-censor, and not publish any information at all that falls into several broad categories, including:

  • harming national unity, sovereignty, and territorial integrity
  • disclosing state secrets, endangering national security, or harming national honor and interests
  • inciting ethnic hatred or ethnic discrimination, undermining national unity, or going against ethnic customs and habits
  • spreading rumors, disturbing social order, or undermining social stability
  • insulting or slandering others, infringing upon the legitimate rights of others
  • endangering social morality or national cultural tradition

Christian Science Monitor – China’s President Xi demands total loyalty from state media

“All the work by the party’s media must reflect the party’s will, safeguard the party’s authority, and safeguard the party’s unity,” Xi said. “They must love the party, protect the party, and closely align themselves with the party leadership in thought, politics and action.”

“This is a very heavy-handed ideological campaign to drive home the point of total loyalty to the party core,” Willy Lam, an expert on elite Chinese politics at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, told the AP. “On one hand, Xi’s influence and power are now unchallenged, but on the other hand, there is a palpable degree of insecurity.”

Scary times for a billion and a half voices.

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jay

Jay is Editor In Chief of The Agonist, veteran and technologist.

1 CommentLeave a comment

  • I’m not really sure “scary times for over a billion people” is an apt statement. Considering China is the oldest unified population despite its multiple leaders and governments over time, they’ve been through worse. What’s scary is that China is no longer isolated from the rest of the world economically. That means scary times for us.

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