China has unveiled a new set of restrictions on the type of news content foreign agencies can distribute in China. Press freedom advocates say the move is the latest attempt by the communist government to clamp down on the free flow of information.
The state-owned Xinhua News Agency on Sunday said it was exercising control of all distribution of news in China, including Hong Kong and Macau, regions where there have been long traditions of press freedom.
The agency unveiled 22 articles with restrictions to prevent news reporting that it says may endanger China’s national security, undermine social stability, or help spread the influence of what it described as “evil cults” or superstition. [Full Text]
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UPDATE: Daniu, a Chinese journalist blogger’s response to the new regulation is here (in Chinese):
“The new regulation says: Chinese domestic users who are subscribing to news from foreign news agencies must sign a subscription contract with agencies appointed by Xinhua. No one is allowed to directly subscribe, translate and publish news from foreign news agencies in any way.
Daniu’s comment: OK. This means domestic users can only passively receive international news from the broker Xinhua. It would be illegal to get this news from any company except Xinhua. For example, AFP can provide 1000 photos to domestic subscribers, and the annual fee is 80,000 RMB. After going through Xinhua, domestic users can only get 20 AFP photos each day, and the annual fee is as high as 120,000 RMB, and no bargaining is allowed.”
(translated by CDT)