China appears set to ban reporting by news outlets not directly funded by the Communist Party, in a further blow to free speech

·1 min read
xi jinping
Chinese President Xi Jinping. Thomas Peter/Getty
  • China may stop all private investment in media, meaning the Communist Party would fund it all.

  • A submission to a top decision-making body would stop investment in news gathering and distribution.

  • The rules would give the Chinese government an even stronger grip over news and information.

The Chinese government is proposing new rules that would ban news reporting by outlets not directly funded by the Communist Party in a further blow to freedom of speech in the country.

A document, submitted to China's National Development and Reform Council on Friday, proposes that private capital could not fund news gathering, broadcasting and distribution, including on social media.

It said that privately-funded organizations "shall not engage in the news gathering, editing and broadcasting business."

It would also stop news outlets from reproducing news content published by foreign media outlets, Bloomberg reported.

Organizations that could be affected include Hong Kong's South China Morning Post, which is owned by Alibaba, and the financial news site Caixin, which is backed by Tencent, Bloomberg and Quartz noted.

There is a seven-day public consultation on the document, due to end on October 14. If introduced, the rules would tighten China's already strong grip over the country's news and media.

It is not clear if foreign news outlets operating in China would be impacted.

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