China Strives to Be on African Minds, and TV Sets

As China increases investment and ties with various African nations, the government is also pushing domestically-produced television content as an export as well. Yet despite accolades in the official Chinese media about how quickly Africans are taking to Chinese television programming, some observers are skeptical. Bree Feng reports for the New York Times:

“More and more African peoples are gaining an understanding of Chinese society by watching contemporary Chinese television dramas, and becoming interested in China,” the [People’s Daily] article said.

[…] Still, some analysts suggest that Chinese news media and entertainment offerings face significant challenges in Africa.

“Over all, I must say that I am quite skeptical about the popularity of Chinese media in Africa up until now,” said Howard W. French, author of “China’s Second Continent: How a Million Migrants Are Building a New Empire in Africa” and a former New York Times correspondent in Africa and China.

[…] “The problem with this is that, in a great many African countries, the media scene is quite diversified, and Africans are quite used to having problems, including ‘sensitive’ problems, raked over directly, with space for lots of contending points of view,” he said.

Read more about China’s soft power efforts and attempts to export its propaganda along with media products overseas, via CDT.