Beijing’s internet watchdog has said articles from Caixin, one of China’s most prominent and trusted business publications, can no longer be republished by online news services, marking the latest blow to journalism and free speech in China.
According to an announcement on Wednesday by the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC), China’s internet watchdog, Caixin was not among the list of more than 1,300 media sources approved for domestic republishing in China.
The move comes with the Chinese internet landscape already under immense pressure and heightened scrutiny as the Communist party under President Xi Jinping redoubles efforts to control flows of information in the world’s most populous country.
“Before we hear anything from Caixin or others on the significance the new ‘source list’ might have for them specifically, I think we can say that this marks the further consolidation of party controls over news creation and distribution,” 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 sourcing news and discussion of current affairs.”
Caixin could not immediately be reached for comment.
However, Bandurski also cautioned that Caixin’s content mostly sits behind a paywall and that the outlet has not encouraged wider distribution through prominent Chinese social media channels such as Sina.
The list was last updated five years ago. In a statement the CAC noted the guidance of Xi and said China must strictly manage “illegal” investigations and reporting and work to cut off such information at the “source”.
The CAC’s new list also follows months of tightening scrutiny and intensifying censorship of blogs and social media sites covering China’s financial markets and economy.
Additional reporting from Emma Zhou in Beijing
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