Posts Tagged ‘China media’

‘Read this quickly before it’s gone’: how China’s media covered or ignored the arrest of Huawei executive

December 7, 2018

Logo von Huawei (Reuters/H. Hanschke)

Canada’s Globe and Mail newspaper reported on Wednesday that Meng Wanzhou (孟晚舟), the daughter of the founder of Chinese telecoms giant Huawei, Ren Zhengfei (任正非), had been arrested in Canada and faces extradition to the United States on charges of violating US trade sanctions on Iran.

Meng is also the deputy chair of Huawei, which in recent months has faced an international backlash over concerns the company is linked to the Chinese state and poses a security risk.

Meng Wanzhou

Meng Wanzhou. File photo: Huawei.

Little information is available about Meng’s arrest, which reportedly occurred on December 1. Ian McLeod, a spokesman for Canada’s Justice Department, told the Globe and Mail: “As there is a publication ban in effect, we cannot provide any further detail at this time. The ban was sought by Ms Meng.”

So far, Chinese mainstream media have been largely silent on the case. A handful of media have picked up an early news release from the official China News Service that closely follows the press release from the Chinese Embassy in Canada.

That release registered a strong protest, saying that Meng’s arrest had “seriously harmed the human rights of the victim.”

The China Daily, published by the Information Office of the State Council, released an article in Chinese earlier today quoting the official release from Huawei saying that Meng has done nothing wrong and they are confident there will be a fair result.

Huawei Canada

Huawei, Canada. Photo: Wikicommons.

The official Xinhua News Agency did not release a report in English until around 5PM today Beijing time. That report again closely followed the remarks from the Chinese Embassy in Canada and the official Huawei release.

As of 8:30PM Beijing time there was still no Xinhua story in Chinese carried prominently on the service’s website, though far down the list of news was a transcript of the foreign ministry press conference.

Xinhua was focussed instead on Xi Jinping’s trip to Spain, Portugal and Latin America, and on the 40th anniversary of China’s “reform and opening” policy.

No doubt the timing of the Meng Wanzhou story, coming less than two weeks ahead of the formal anniversary on December 18, will also be a point of great sensitivity for the Party leadership.


Xinhua homepage, December 6 2018. Photo: Screenshot.

There were also stories on both the Chinese and English sides of Caixin. Interestingly, though, while the English report is prominent, the Chinese report was pushed lower down at around 4pm Beijing time, emphasising in the headline the fierce response from the Chinese Embassy in Canada — and two hours later that story was not visible at all on the Chinese homepage.

The English-language page at Caixin gave the Meng Wanzhou arrest story central play, and by 5pm Beijing time also paired it with the story of Huawei’s troubles in the UK.

The Chinese homepage of Caixin at around 4pm Beijing time on December 6 showed the Huawei story of the arrest of Meng Wanzhou well below other featured articles.

By 5pm Beijing time on the same day, no stories about Huawei or its CFO, Meng Wanzhou, were visible on the Chinese-language Caixin homepage.


The English-language page at Caixin gives the Meng Wanzhou arrest story central play, and by 5PM Beijing time also pairs it with the story of Huawei’s troubles in the UK. Photo: Screenshot.

But lack of information on this breaking story, and relative silence from traditional and state-run media cannot forestall the conversation in China. There has been a flurry of chatter and speculation on Weibo and WeChat, although of course, that conversation is in a state of constant emergence and disappearance.

Here, courtesy of the Weiboscope, are a few of the more recent Weibo posts that have been removed, most dealing directly with the original report from the Globe and Mail:

  • 2018-12-06 13:29:55 | #ImmigrantObserver # MengWanzhou (Sabrina Wanzhou Meng) born 1972, is the daughter of Huawei founder and CEO Ren Zhengfei, and Meng Dongbo (孟东波), the father of her mother, Meng Jun (孟军), served as deputy governor of Sichuan province. She at the very least has Chinese, American and Canadian passports!
  • 2018-12-06 07:31:11 | [Meng Wanzhou, Daughter of Huawei CEO Ren Zhengfei, arrested in Canada] Canada’s Global and Mail newspaper reported that the daughter of Huawei CEO Ren Zhengfei, Huawei’s CFO Meng Wanzhou, has been arrested in Canada and faces extradition to the U.S. American law enforcement authorities have said that Meng Wanzhou is suspected of violating U.S. trade sanctions against Iran.
  • 2018-12-06 07:24:50 | [Foreign Media: Ren Zhengfei’s daughter and Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou has been arrested in Vancouver] News, Beijing time, December 6. According to Canada’s Globe and Mail, quoting Ian McLeod of Canada’s Justice Department, Canada has arrested Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou.

Marco Rubio


If @Huawei has been helping violate US sanctions by transferring US technology to they should be barred from operating in the US or from purchasing US technology.

488 people are talking about this

A Weibo search for “Meng Wanzhou” directs readers to two posts from state media, one from CCTV Online and the other from the Global Times. The CCTV post is a short video relaying the response from China’s Foreign Ministry, calling on Canada and the U.S. to immediate release Meng and to “protect the legitimate rights of the person involved.”

The Global Times post similarly focuses on what at present seems right now to be the core message of the leadership: Meng must be immediately released.

The battle by ordinary citizens and other non-official voices to have a say on the Meng case, over and against the official urge to control the development of the issue online, could be glimpsed openly on social media.

In a post made around 8:30pm to Weibo, Zhu Wei (朱伟), an entrepreneur with more than two million followers on the platform, posted the following message:

“This topic is so sensitive. The headline article on my WeChat public account ‘Teacher Zhu Wei’ (朱伟老师), ‘Chinese Embassy in Canada: We Demand the Immediate Return of Meng Wanzhou’s Freedom’ was deleted by the relevant departments. Right now I’m reposting it on Weibo, so read it really quickly before it’s gone.”

Huawei phone

Photo: Kārlis Dambrāns/Flickr.

In a Weibo post, entrepreneur Zhu Wei tells readers to quickly read his post already deleted from the WeChat platform — before it once again disappears.

The article in question by Zhu Wei, offered a rundown of the official statements from the foreign ministry and from Huawei, and then included a paragraph by paragraph translation of the original report from the Globe and Mail.

Another post from the Weibo account of the Putian Media Group (莆田广播电视台) offered readers a video from talk Meng Wanzhou gave in English on September 26 at the World Academic Summit in Singapore.

The post, which bore the hashtag “#MengWanZhouArrested,” noted that Meng’s talk had been about “how to promote industry innovation.” But the video was soon disabled, yielding the message: “We’re sorry, this video cannot be displayed. Please view another video.”

Some commenting on WeChat and other platforms voiced anger over Meng’s arrest, viewing it through the lens of US-China competition, as a provocative act and a sign that the United States and other Western countries want to keep China down, even stripping it of its “right to develop.”


File photo: Sinchen.Lin/Flickr.

In a piece shared widely on WeChat, Mei Xinyu (梅新育), a financial writer with more than one million followers on Weibo, wrote:

“Finally, I want to emphasise again the assessment I had a few days ago: through equal and rational dialogue a new cold war between China and the US can be avoided, and this would be a great thing for both countries and for the world.

“But the sky rains when it wants to, and girls marry when the time comes, and if certain people insist on foisting a ‘new cold war’ upon us, China has sufficient courage to meet this challenge, upholding China’s right to development in the midst of this struggle.”

Republished with permission from the China Media Project.


Chinese Media, Eager for Trade War With Trump, Says “Only Fools Build Walls”

June 16, 2018

Image may contain: mountain, sky, outdoor and nature

BBC News

Chinese media have mocked US President Donald Trump over plans to impose 25% tariffs on $50bn worth of Chinese goods, saying “wise men build bridges but fools build walls”.

Mr Trump announced the tariffs on Friday, accusing Beijing of intellectual copyright theft.

China retaliated, saying it would impose an additional 25% tariff on 659 US goods worth $50bn.

Stock markets fell after the announcements amid fear of a trade war.

The US had earlier warned that it will impose even more tariffs should China retaliate.

Mr Trump said the tariffs were “essential to preventing further unfair transfers of American technology and intellectual property to China, which will protect American jobs.”

The Chinese product lines that have been hit range from aircraft tyres to turbines and commercial dishwashers.

State-controlled media made a concerted attack on the new US measures.

“Following the path of expanding and opening up is China’s best response to the trade dispute between China and the United States, and is also the responsibility that major countries should have to the world,” said an editorial in Xinhua news agency.

“The wise man builds bridges, the fool builds walls,” it commented.

Social media users were quick to make light of the comment, with many making reference to the Great Wall of China.

Presentational white space

Elsewhere official Communist Party newspaper the People’s Daily condemned what it described as the US administration’s “obsession with playing the disgraceful role of global economic disruptor”.

The Global Times, meanwhile, said Mr Trump was disrupting the world order to appeal to voters who think he’s fighting for them.

However, the English-language China Daily said it hoped the worst could still be avoided.

“Given the frequent flip-flopping of the Donald Trump administration, it is still too early to conclude that a trade war will start,” it said.

The media response came as China announced tariffs on $34bn of US goods including agricultural products, cars and marine products which will also take effect from 6 July.

Tariffs on other US goods will be announced at a later date, Xinhua said.

Media captionHow hogs and Harleys became weapons in a looming trade war.

US tariffs that affect more than 800 Chinese products worth $34bn in annual trade are due to come into effect on 6 July.

The White House said it would consult on tariffs on the other $16bn of products, and would apply these later.

The US wants China to stop practices that allegedly encourage transfer of intellectual property – design and product ideas – to Chinese companies, such as requirements that foreign firms share ownership with local partners to access the Chinese market.

However, many economists and businesses in the US say the tariffs are likely to hurt some of the sectors the administration is trying to protect, which depend on China for parts or assembly.

The US announced plans for tariffs this spring, after an investigation into China’s intellectual property practices.

It published a draft list of about 1,300 Chinese products slated for tariffs in April. The list released on Friday is slightly shorter, incorporating feedback and criticism received in the ensuing weeks.

The plans have elicited a mixed political reaction, drawing praise from Democrats and opposition from Republicans, who typically favour free trade policies.

Goods impacted by tariffs

China to Merge State Media for Stronger Voice in Financial News — Propaganda to support global governance

January 11, 2017

BEIJING — China is set to consolidate five state media companies to create a “modern financial media group” to increase the state’s voice in economic and financial news coverage, the state-run Xinhua news agency said on Wednesday.

Since taking power in 2012, President Xi Jinping, who has called for Beijing to take a bigger role in a global governance system, has stepped up media control and scrutiny to project China’s “soft power” and better communicate its message.

 Image may contain: 1 person

The State Council, China’s cabinet, has given Xinhua permission to acquire and consolidate China Securities Journal, Shanghai Securities News, Economic Information Daily and Xinhua Publishing House and launch a new company under the banner China Fortune Media Corporation Group.

The move aims at “deepening the central authority’s reforms of the cultural system” and “increasing mainstream media’s influence in the area of financial information,” Xinhua said in a notice.

The new financial news-focused company will be launched in Beijing on Thursday next week, it said.

While visiting three major state news agencies in February last year, Xi ordered the organizations to strictly follow the Communist Party’s leadership and focus on “positive reporting”, Xinhua reported at the time.


 Image may contain: one or more people and outdoor
People’s Bank of China

The three media Xi visited – Xinhua, People’s Daily and state-owned broadcaster CCTV – are considered by the central leadership as the “throat and tongue” of the party.

According to Xi, managing journalism and publicity is “crucial” for the party’s and implementation of its policies, Xinhua reported.

(Reporting by Shu Zhang


President Xi Jinping of China, center, was applauded when he visited the newsroom of People’s Daily in Beijing. CreditLan Hongguang/Xinhua, via Associated Press

China official media blackout on Taiwan inauguration

May 20, 2016


© AFP | Taiwan’s new President Tsai Ing-wen speaks during her inauguration ceremony in Taipei on May 20, 2016.Beijing-sceptic Tsai took the oath of office at the presidential palace in Taipei after winning a landslide victory in January signalling the end of an eight-year rapprochement with China.

BEIJING (AFP) – Official mainland Chinese news outlets largely snubbed the inauguration of Taiwan’s Beijing-sceptic new president Tsai Ing-wen on Friday, while searches for her name and “Taiwan” were blocked on social media.

Taiwan’s first female president, who is head of the traditionally pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), took the oath of office Friday morning at the presidential palace in Taipei, signalling the end of an eight-year rapprochement with China.

China and Taiwan split in 1949 after the Kuomintang nationalist forces lost a civil war to the Communists. But Beijing has always seen the island as a renegade province awaiting reunification, by force if necessary.

China’s state-run media were almost mute about the inauguration, with no coverage at all on national television or major newspapers such as the People’s Daily, the Communist Party’s mouthpiece.

The official news agency Xinhua took nearly three hours from when she was sworn in to report the fact in a 22-word dispatch in English.

For several hours searches for “Taiwan” or “Tsai Ing-wen” on China’s Twitter-like Sina Weibo both returned the message: “Sorry, no relevant result is found”, although the new leader’s name was later unblocked.

In an editorial, the Global Times — a newspaper owned by the People’s Daily group that often takes a nationalistic tone — said Tsai’s assumption of power heralded “a new era for a cross-Straits region that is characterised by uncertainty”.

DPP rule will make Taiwan “take a larger step away from the mainland politically”, it said.

“Certain people are still holding on to the fantasy that ‘soft independence’ might be workable,” it added. “Perhaps a new round of contention is inevitable to completely drive the topic of Taiwan independence away.”

Beijing has been sending assertive messages across the Taiwan Strait since Tsai was elected in January.

It has warned against any attempt to formally declare independence and the Chinese military has mounted at least three landing exercises in the country’s southeast this month — widely seen as a threat to Tsai not to rock the boat.

China has been building up their amphibious landing capabilities and island assault forces

Peace and Freedom comment: One has to always keep in mind that Xi Jinping has told all Chinese media to all support the government’s objectives and actions with  propaganda.




Cyberspace Administration of China “Blasts” Global Times Over Donald Trump Editorial, Poll on Unifying Taiwan by Force — Global Times’ Management “Summoned” By Government

May 12, 2016

By South China Morning Post Staff
Thursday, May 12, 2016


The mainland’s top internet regulator slammed the news portal run by the hawkish Global Times tabloid this week for running sensationalist polls and reports on sensitive issues, according to a source with direct knowledge of the matter and a Radio France Internationale report.

Among the offending items were a poll last month about whether mainlanders supported unifying Taiwan by force, an editorial on US presidential hopeful Donald Trump, and an op-ed on the looming release of the last Tiananmen prisoner.

In the written criticism circulated to senior editors of other major mainland news portals, the Cyberspace Administration of China said the Global Times’ decision to run the poll ahead of the inauguration of Taiwan’s pro-independence president-elect this month prompted a strong reaction from the island.

About 85 per cent of respondents to the poll on Taiwan supported unification by force, and 58 per cent of those agreed the best time for it would be within five years. The poll was “a serious violation of news discipline and had caused serious political consequences”, the CAC said. “All websites should learn from the lesson and refrain from polls.”

The CAC summoned Global Times’ management on Monday, RFI reported.

Calls to the tabloid for comment last night went unanswered.

 Tsai Ing-wen

The CAC also criticised the newspaper for hyping up its coverage on the United States, North Korea, the South China Sea and Hong Kong. It told its management to rectify its content and re-educate its reporters and editors over the next month.

Global Times is well-known for its bellicose and nationalistic tone and its news coverage often attracts controversy.

It is affiliated with People’s Daily and has repeatedly spoken out on sensitive topics while other outlets have been subject to heavy censorship.

Despite the paper’s pro-government stand, chief editor Hu Xijin said in an address at the Chinese University of Hong Kong in 2014 that Global Times was a market-based newspaper rather than a state media outlet.

In the editorial on Trump, the paper erred by deploying a popular internet phrase used to mock the Chinese government, saying the “current session of the American people” should be blamed for Trump’s popularity. Mainland internet users often skirt censorship by blaming social problems on the “current session of the people” instead of the administration.

In the editorial on Tiananmen dissident Miao Deshun, the paper said anyone who “bet on the wrong side of history will have a life that weighs less than a feather”. It was the only mainland media mention of Miao, 51, the last political prisoner arrested over the 1989 protests to be freed. He is due to be released in October.


Headline news: editor at liberal Chinese newspaper fired over front page — Xi Jinping demands absolute loyalty

March 2, 2016

Deputy editor is also censured over ‘serious public opinion guidance incident’

By Nectar Gan and Mimi Lau in Guangzhou
South China Morning Post

An editor of an outspoken newspaper in southern China was sacked after the paper put the headline of President Xi Jinping’s call for state media’s loyalty with a picture of the sea burial ceremony of a prominent reformist together on its front page.

Liu Yuxia, editor of the Southern Metropolis News in Guangzhou, across the border from Hong Kong, was fired for her “mishandling” of the paper’s front-page published on February 20.

The paper’s deputy chief editor, Wang Haijun, who was on duty on the night the front page went to press, was issued a serious demerit on his record, according to a leaked internal document of the Nanfang Media Group circulating on social media.

Sources familiar with the matter confirmed the sacking and the existence of the leaked document to the South China Morning Post.

Liu was accused in the circular of misguiding public opinion.

The front page in question in the newspaper’s Shenzhen edition featured a bolded headline high up on the page that read “Media run by the party and the government is a propaganda base and must follow the surname [display complete loyalty] of the party” – a quote from a speech on news and public opinion that Xi gave during a forum last week.

Directly beneath the headline was a large photograph of the burial at sea of Yuan Geng, a prominent reformist figure, with a small headline, “The soul returns to the sea” in the picture’s top right corner.

If the last two Chinese characters on each line of the main headline are read in conjunction with the photo headline below, the text reads “Media following the surname of the party have their souls returned to the sea”.

READ MORE: China’s top party mouthpieces pledge ‘absolute loyalty’ as president makes rare visits to newsrooms

In comparison, the Guangzhou edition of the paper published on the same day put a photo of Xi’s visit to state broadcaster CCTV beneath the headline.

“Due to the serious lack of political sensitivity by the editorial staff, a serious mistake was made on the [front] page, which was given malicious interpretation by certain individuals on the internet and led to a serious [public opinion] guidance incident,” read the leaked document.

“Although the group took firm measures as soon as possible and tried its best to minimise the negative influence, [the incident] has still hindered the overall work, particularly at the critical time when the news propaganda front was studying the spirit of the important remarks by Secretary General Xi Jinping on news and public opinion work,” it said.

Xi has demanded “absolute loyalty” from all state-media as part of Beijing’s effort to tighten its control of media and public opinion, asking journalists and editors to “speak for the party’s will and protect its authority and unity”.

He also demanded that all news reporting and commentaries follow the “right direction” – from party mouthpieces to commercial tabloids and online media, from political news to entertainment, social and international news.


President Xi Jinping of China, center, was applauded when he visited the newsroom of People’s Daily in Beijing. CreditLan Hongguang/Xinhua, via Associated Press

China: Media Boss Who Blackmailed Businesses Convicted of Extortion, Other Crimes in Crackdown on Media, Free Expression

December 26, 2015


A Chinese court has convicted a media head of extortion and ordered publications closed. His newspaper supposedly blackmailed businesses into giving them sums of money by threatening to write negative stories about them.

A Chinese court sentenced the former head of one of the country’s best known financial newspapers to four years in prison on Thursday, closing a massive media corruption case as Beijing tightens control over the press.

Shen Hao, former president of 21st Century Media, was convicted of extortion and blackmail, “forced transactions” and embezzlement, the Shanghai Pudong New Area People’s Court said in a statement on its official social media account.

The verdict comes at a time when China’s government is exerting tighter controls over the media – already one of the most restricted in the world.

Shen is one of the 30 executives at the company, its website and related publications prosecuted by authorities earlier this year.

The firm owns the 21st Century Business Herald, a financial newspaper known for its aggressive investigative reporting.

“I have no objection to the facts, charges and evidences stated by the prosecutors about the company crime committed by 21st Century Media Co.,” Shen told the court Thursday, according to state broadcaster China Central Television (CCTV).

“I’d like to apologize to the firms who fell victim of the company crime,” he said.

The practice of businesses paying media to run or delete stories is seen as widespread in China.

But the wave of arrests at 21st Century Media Co. has raised fears of selective enforcement against liberal journalists.

Authorities accused the staff of coercing firms into paying more than 200 million yuan ($32 million) for advertising while publishing “malicious” attacks on those who refused to cooperate.

Hao was fined 60,000 yuan ($9,500), while his 21st Century Media company was fined 9.5 million yuan ($1.5 million).

But authorities ordered 21st Century Media to close one of China’s most prominent business news websites,, and a magazine, Money Weekly.

Before going to court, Shen was shown on CCTV “confessing” to being involved in extortion – treatment that was condemned by journalists and lawyers as violating his right to a fair trial.

Authorities announced a nationwide campaign against media extortion last year.

Le Bing, another former official of the company, got a suspended two-year sentence for embezzlement, the court said.

The trial comes days after a Chinese court handed down a three-year suspended prison sentence to civil rights lawyer Pu Zhiqiang for posts on his social media account that “incited ethnic hatred”, sparking increased fears over expression online.

Verdicts on other people related to the case are expected later on Thursday.

bik/rc (AFP, AP)