Beijing’s internet watchdog said articles from Caixin, one of China’s largest and most trusted trade publications, can no longer be republished by online news services, marking the latest blow to journalism and freedom of expression in China.
According to an announcement made Wednesday by the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC), China’s Internet watchdog, Caixin was not on the list of more than 1,300 media sources approved for nationwide re-release in China.
The move comes as China’s internet landscape is already under immense pressure and scrutiny as President Xi Jinping’s Communist Party redoubles its efforts to control the flow of information in the world’s most populous country.
“Before we hear anything from Caixin or others about how important the new ‘source list’ might have to them in particular, I think we can say that this marks the further consolidation of controls. parties on the creation and distribution of news, “said David Bandurski, co-director of the China Media Project at the University of Hong Kong.
“The goal is to ensure that the growing universe of digital media products is politically disciplined when it comes to researching information and discussing current affairs. ”
Caixin could not be reached immediately for comment.
However, Bandurski also warned that Caixin’s content is mostly behind a pay wall and the outlet has not encouraged wider distribution through major Chinese social media channels such as Sina.
The list was last updated five years ago. In a statement, the CAC noted Xi’s advice and said China must strictly handle “illegal” investigations and reports and strive to cut such information at “source.”
The new ACC list also follows months of scrutiny and intensified censorship of blogs and social media sites covering China’s financial markets and economy.
Additional reporting by Emma Zhou in Beijing