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The Media

With the economic development that started in the 1980s and the arrival of the Internet in the 1990s, Chinese media have become more diversified as they extend their reach throughout China through multiple transmission, including satellites, wireless and wired systems.

News Agencies

Headquartered in Beijing, Xinhua News Agency is the nation's official news agency, and also one of the major international news agencies in the world, with over 100 branch offices in the Asian-Pacific region, the Middle East, Latin America, Africa and other regions. In 2003, its subordinate Xinhua Financial Network Ltd. formed an international alliance with Agence France-Presse ("AFP") Finance. Xinhua Financial Network Ltd. purchased the news agencies of AFP Asian Finance in Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, and Singapore and other eight Asian countries and regions, which expanded the coverage of Xinhua News Agency's international network. With its head office also in Beijing, China News Service mainly supplies news to overseas Chinese, foreign citizens of Chinese origin, and compatriots in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, the Macao Special Administrative Region, and Taiwan.

Newspapers

From 1950 to 2000, the number of Chinese newspapers increased nearly 10 times. In 2003, over 400 kinds of daily newspapers were issued in China and the print run reached 80 million, most of any country in the world. At present, 39 newspaper groups such as Beijing Daily Newspaper Group, Wenhui Xinmin Associated Newspaper Group and Guangzhou Daily Newspaper Group have been organized. In 2003, trans-regional cooperation among the print media became a new trend. New Beijing Newspaper, invested and run by Guangming Daily Newspaper Group and Nanfang Daily Newspaper Group, was the first one approved formally by the Chinese government to publish trans-regionally. And Orient-Observation Weekly came out at the end of 2003 in Shanghai in which the biggest shareholder is the Xinhua News Agency headquartered in Beijing.

Radio

The Central People's Broadcasting Station ("CPBS"), the nation's official radio station, has eight channels, and broadcasts for a total of 156 hours per day through satellite. Every province, autonomous region and municipality has local broadcasting stations. China Radio International ("CRI"), the only national overseas broadcasting station, is beamed to all parts of the world in 38 foreign languages, standard Chinese and four Chinese dialects and broadcasts for a total of 290 hours every day. It offers various special programs of news, current affairs, remarks, entertainment, politics, economy, culture and technology and so on. Currently, CRI ranks third in overseas broadcasting time and languages in the world.

Television

China Central Television ("CCTV"), China's largest and most powerful national television station, has established business relations with more than 250 television organizations in over 130 countries and regions. In 2003, CCTV introduced two specialized channels - News Channel and Children's Channel. CCTV and some 3,000 television stations across the country, as well as their satellite and ground network systems, constitute the largest television network in the world. Industry events include the Shanghai Television Festival, Beijing International Television Week, China Radio and Television Exposition and Sichuan Television Festival. Besides judging and giving awards, these festivals also conduct academic television exchanges and the import and export of television programs, and hold international exhibitions and technology exchanges. Shanghai has become the largest television program trading market in Asia.

The Internet

By June 30, 2003, China had 470,000 Internet websites and 68 million Internet users, according to Cai Mingzhao, deputy director of the State Council's Information Office. The websites include some 150 Internet websites that are legally able to publish and reprint news, and as many as 1,400 news outlets have gone online. Experts predict that the Internet news media and the traditional media will merge in the 21st century into a multi-media news platform with sounds, pictures, and text. It is estimated that by 2005, there will be as many as 40 million computers in China connected to the Internet, and 200 million users of data, multi-media and the Internet, with about 15 percent of the population having access to the Internet.

Multi-media Group

With its entry into the World Trade Organization, the Chinese media industry has met competition and challenges from powerful overseas media groups. In 2001, the Chinese government put forward a goal of promoting media amalgamation by establishing trans-regional multi-media news groups. It also instituted detailed regulations on media industry funds raising, foreign-funded cooperation and trans-media development. The China Radio, Film and Television Group founded by the end of 2001 incorporated the resource and power of central-level radio, television and film industry and the radio and television Internet companies, through the varied avenues of television, Internet, publishing and advertisement. It is the biggest and most powerful multi-media group in China. At the same time, Chinese media began to cooperate with overseas media groups. By the end of March, 2002, the "Star Satellite TV" produced by the Star Media Group under the jurisdiction of the News Group was being televised in Guangdong Province. It was the first time that China had authorized a new overseas channel to use the landing right of cable TV net. The English channel of CCTV has entered the United States through Fox News Internet under the jurisdiction of the News Group. Since its entry into the World Trade Organization, the Chinese media industry has met competition and challenges from powerful overseas media groups. And thus it has become the development trend of the Chinese media industry to form inter-media and trans-regional media group operated with multiple patterns. In 2001, the Chinese government put forward a goal of promoting media amalgamation by establishing trans-regional multi-media news groups. It also instituted detailed regulations on media industry funds raising, foreign-funded cooperation and trans-media development. The China Radio Film and Television Group founded by the end of 2001 incorporated the resource and power of central-level radio, television and film industry and the radio and television Internet companies, through the varied avenues of television, Internet, publishing and advertisement. It is the biggest and most powerful multi-media group in China.

At the same time, Chinese media began to cooperate with overseas media groups. By the end of 2003, 30 overseas televisions, such as the "Phoenix Satellite TV," "Bloomberg Finance," "Star Satellite TV," "Eurasian Sports" and "Chinese Entertainment TV" landed in China with some restrictions. At the same time, the English channel of CCTV entered the United States through Fox News Internet under the jurisdiction of the News Group.

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