The US will change the legal status of branches of Chinese state media

Publications will have to provide the State Department with information about their employees and real estate that they rent or own.

The Trump administration announced innovations regarding the registration of American affiliates of five major Chinese state media outlets. Media outlets will now be treated as foreign embassies – that is, media outlets will have to register their employees and corporate property with the State Department.

Two senior sources in the State Department linked this decision to the fact that the Chinese authorities are tightening state control over the press, and President Xi Jinping is promoting increasingly aggressive dissemination of Pro-Beijing propaganda through these publications. One source described the Chinese state media offices in the United States as “actually a weapon of the propaganda apparatus of the Chinese Communist Party (CPC).”

According to the source, the State Department informed all five organizations of its decision on Tuesday in writing.

A second source confirmed information about the “increasingly draconian” methods by which Beijing controls state-owned media. Both sources wished to remain anonymous.

Today’s decision is not related to recent events in Chinese-American relations and has been under consideration for some time.

The new rules apply to the Xinhua News Agency, the China Global Television Network, China International radio, the China Daily newspaper, and Hai Tian Development USA.
China Daily is an English-language newspaper published by The Chinese Communist Party. Hai Tian Development USA distributes the People’s Daily, the official printing body of the CPC Central Committee.

Five American branches of Chinese state media will have to hand over lists of their employees, decisions on hiring and firing, and register with the foreign Ministry real estate that they rent or own in the United States. They will also need permission to rent or buy new real estate in the US, the sources added.

One of the interlocutors added that the disclosure of such information would help the state Department better understand how branches of Chinese state publications operate in the United States.

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