×

China Wants More Media Giants

China’s media regulator Monday called for the country to accelerate the growth of competitive media conglomerates.

The State Administration of Press Publication, Radio, Film and Television said that the integration of different media “falls short of central authorities’ requirement and public expectation,” and set a target of 2020 for improvement, reported state news agency Xinhua.

Specifically, media organizations should integrate systems across different media and make greater use of cloud computing and ‘big data.’

This is not the first call for the development of more powerful media conglomerates. Similar calls went out in 2009 and again in 2014.

In 2009 the State Council announced guidelines for companies that have more market orientation. One result of that was the listing of shares by Shanghai Media Group, the recent merger of two of SMG’s divisions and, before that, the spin-off of China Media Capital which is headed by then SMG chairman Li Ruigang.

The notion of achieving ‘soft power’ that matches China’s economic might is highly appealing to the one-party government. And China has regularly hinted at the building of global champions which can rival the planet-wide impact of CNN, the BBC, Disney and latterly non-news organizations such as Facebook and Google.

China’s state-owned media companies have largely failed to make much impact overseas, a situation partly made worse by China’s lack of reciprocity. Many foreign media are unwelcome in China or operate with restrictions.

The lack of overseas success by state champions may, however, mean there is more government support for private-sector companies forays. Companies such as Wanda and CMC are aggressively expanding abroad through acquisition.

At home the central government’s propaganda department maintains a tight grip on the news agenda and giant CCTV remains effectively the only nationwide TV broadcaster. Much media innovation has been driven by regional media groups or by new, often tech-driven, private sector companies.

However, on many occasions, government regulations have subsequently sought to curb anything that becomes too popular. Everything from talent contests, to foreign TV formats, Chinese TV dramas with racy themes — or simply too much cleavage — and imported streamed series have all fallen foul of regulators in the past couple of years.

It is a difficult conundrum to set Chinese media the simultaneous tasks of innovating, self-regulating and expanding.

More Biz

  • WGA Agency Packaging Fight Placeholder Writer

    WGA Takes Aim at Endeavor IPO, Tells Members It Has 'Sufficient Funds' for Legal Battle

    The Writers Guild of America has gone to the Securities and Exchange Commission in its battle with Hollywood’s largest talent agencies over the issue of packaging fees and affiliated production. The guild sent a letter to William Hinman, director of the SEC’s corporate finance division, the guild accuses WME parent company Endeavor of misrepresenting the [...]

  • Honoree Yusef Salaam poses at the

    Yusef Salaam Signs With CAA (EXCLUSIVE)

    Yusef Salaam, one of the men who was exonerated after being wrongfully convicted in the 1989 Central Park jogger case, has signed with CAA for representation in all areas of business worldwide. The story of Salaam and the four other men — then boys — who were wrongfully convicted was recently told in Netflix’s miniseries [...]

  • Kim Kardashian West Kimono

    Kim Kardashian West's 'Kimono' Shapewear Sparks Backlash

    West announced yesterday that she was launching a line of form-fitting shapewear in nine different skin tones and a range of sizes. But the name of the reality star’s latest business venture — “Kimono” — is already wrapped up in controversy.Kimonos are Japanese robes traditionally worn at formal affairs, prompting some to accuse the businesswoman [...]

  • Discovery Corporate New Logo

    Discovery Faces Backlash From Unscripted Producers After Shift in Series Payment Process

    Discovery Inc. is facing a backlash from the unscripted production community following a shift in the cable giant’s protocol for paying for programming. During the past year, Discovery has implemented a new system that calls for the company to pay producers for shows after all episodes and related material for a given season have been [...]

  • Wendy Goldstein Named Republic Records President,

    Republic Records Names Wendy Goldstein President of West Coast Creative

    Republic Records advances Wendy Goldstein to President of West Coast Creative, label co-founders and chief executives Monte and Avery Lipman announced today. Goldstein has overseen the company’s Santa Monica office since 2017 as EVP of Republic Records. Over the past year, she headed up the label’s efforts for Ariana Grande’s  back-to-back No. 1 debuts for the singer’s “Sweetener” and “Thank U, Next” albums, and [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content