Despite the efforts of President Xi Jinping to control public discourse in China ever more tightly, the media ecosystem in China is diverse and contentious, with companies such as Alibaba and Tencent expanding their presence on the internet, JMSC director Ying Chan has told a conference on the governance of China.

The ‘most exciting, most volatile and most contentious’ set of media contributors today are non-party organisations, including major internet companies such as Alibaba, Tencent and Sina. ‘They’re not supposed to do news, but they do,’ Professor Chan said.

ap3a6555

David Bandurski chaired the session entitled ‘The Internet and Social Media: Disputed Territory?’

‘We are naturally very concerned with control, with censorship … in the debate, most of the attention has been focused on control, and rightly so, but let us not forget about the market and technology,’ she said. ‘If you look at the system holistically, we do have some hope … things have been changing, ownership has been evolving.’

Professor Chan listed other companies and websites that have, at least partially, evaded Communist Party control. Outlets such as Caixin Media, Nanfang Media Group and Shanghai Media Group still have ‘some DNA of the Party’, but are market-orientated, she said.  China Dialogue, news aggregation sites such as Today’s News, and international organisations that publish inside China, also contribute to the media landscape.

Other speakers on the conference’s seven panels included participants from Hong Kong, mainland China, the US and Europe, with topics of discussion including China’s economic system, civil society and legal and constitutional reform.

ap3a6671

Prof Chan chaired the session on ‘China and the Future of Hong Kong’

Professor Chan’s comments came at the International Conference on the Governance of China, where she and David Bandurski, editor of the JMSC’s China Media Project, spoke and chaired panels. The conference, on 15 and 16 January, was held at The University of Hong Kong and organised by the Faculty of Social Sciences and The New York Review of Books Foundation.

Professor Chan said it is still too soon to say who is coming out on top in the contest between state-controlled and private media. She was optimistic, at least, about the situation in Hong Kong. ‘As long as this kind of robust discussion can continue [in Hong Kong],’ she said, ‘we can remain optimistic, cautious and hopeful.’

Full details of the conference and videos of all the sessions can be found here.

March 11, 2016

Chinese media more versatile than authorities aim for, JMSC director says

Despite the efforts of President Xi Jinping to control public discourse in China ever more tightly, the media ecosystem in China is diverse and contentious, with companies such as Alibaba and Tencent expanding their presence […]
August 26, 2015

Book Launch: Dragons in Diamond Village at the Fringe Club on November 3

The Fringe Club will be hosting a book launch event for Dragons in Diamond Village, David Bandurski of the China Media Project’s new book. Tickets from the Hong Kong International Literary Festival are available here: […]
November 23, 2012

JMSC Series Unlocks Political Jargon in China

China’s political battles are complicated affairs, waged largely behind the scenes between flesh-and-blood Party leaders with their own, competing agendas. But the language of China’s Party politics – the script that emerges from this backstage […]
November 22, 2012

Nov 26: Public Lecture – The 18th Party Congress and Prospects for Political Reform in China

Qian Gang, currently director of the China Media Project, is a veteran Chinese journalist and the author of The Great Tangshan Earthquake. In this talk, Mr. Qian will share his perspectives on the 18th Party Congress of the […]
July 20, 2012

JMSC Books On Show at Hong Kong Book Fair

Two of the JMSC’s books are currently on display at the Hong Kong Book Fair. The first is the JMSC’s China Media Project book, Reflections from China’s Media Thinkers: A Collection of 13 Talks by […]
December 22, 2010

Three New Books Related to JMSC Published

Three books that are related to the JMSC have been published this month. The first, The Great Game of Political Reform: Wen Jiabao’s Seven Speeches on Political Reform, was compiled by the director of the […]
November 11, 2010

JMSC Project Promotes Investigative Journalism Book in Europe

David Bandurski, Research Associate for the JMSC’s China Media Project, is going on tour to Europe to promote his book, Investigative Journalism in China: Eight Cases in Chinese Watchdog Journalism, published recently by Hong Kong University […]
October 14, 2010

China Media Project Breaks “Open Letter” News in English

The JMSC’s China Media Project was the first to break the big news in English this week of an open letter sent by former Party leaders to the National People’s Congress, calling for freedom of […]