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Financialisation of news in China in the age of the Internet: the case of Xinhuanet

A Research Paper by Xin Xin, published by Media, Culture and Society

This article discusses the recent development of Xinhuanet.com, a news website launched by Xinhua News Agency, one of China’s key central state-owned news organisations. Xinhuanet Co. Ltd, the business entity running the website, went public in October 2016 in Shanghai. This marked the first step in the state news agency’s financialisation. Two main questions are addressed. First, what were the main driving forces behind Xinhuanet’s transformation from a governmental cultural organisation to a publicly traded enterprise, the majority shareholder of which remains Xinhua? Second, how should the nature of this transformation be understood, in relation to Xinhua’s wider marketisation process and that of the Chinese media sector as a whole? The article argues that Xinhua’s financialisation via Xinhuanet is best understood as part of a state-administrated initiative in accord with Xinhua’s own business ambitions. The financialisation of news by state players such as Xinhuanet does not alter the underlying ownership structure of Chinese news media, which remain ultimately state-controlled.


Keywords Chinese media, financialisation, media conglomeration, state-owned news organisation, Xinhuanet, Xinhua News Agency
Xin Xin


Xin is Reader in International Communications with a special focus on China.

She was RCUK Research/Senior Research Fellow in 2006-2011 and UK/China Fellow for Excellence in 2008-2009, studying China’s soft power project, media and social transformations, and politics. Xin’s work has appeared in Media, Culture & Society, Global Media and Communication, Javnost – The Public; Journalism Practice, Sport in Society; Journal of African Media Studies and a number of edited volumes.


13 December 2017
Published By
Media, Culture and Society
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