Keeping up with the news in China

Hello everyone,

Living in China provides countless occasions to browse local newspapers, listen to local radio stations or watch local TV shows. As everywhere else in the world, local media play a key role in informing the public.

What are the major media in China? Which one do you use on a regular basis?

How do you keep up with international issues (newspapers, radio, TV, Internet)?

Thank you in advance!


Sadly most of the media in China is state sponsored (controlled) so most of the news is basically propaganda. There are some Chinese blogs which give a more rational view on local news. For international news I log onto online news sites of UK/US newspapers (which strangely are not blocked......yet).

Hello Priscilla,

In China, the local newspapers are government controlled, with articles, news and things of interest appearing as the central government wishes them to be portrayed. No dissenting voices permitted.

The local radio stations are boring to listen to with little or no content other than what is decreed to be permissible under the heavy hand of the central government. There are cross-talk programs, a typical Beijing cultural program where two people speak and argue against one another. There are no private broadcast stations of any kind permitted on the mainland.

Similarly local TV shows are boring, with little interest by the government to make them of interest They are formulaic, with talk shows of boring topics.  The only exceptions are the TV soap operas from Korea, which are adored by the public.  St one time, many TV shows from the US were permitted, but under a new decree from the current leadership, there can be no foreign influences in entertainment or in the media.

As everywhere else in the tightly monitored world, the local mainland government-controlled media plays a key role in informing the public, only of what the government deems important for their citizens to know.  If there is an accident, for example, they will minimize the number of deaths or cover them up all together.  If here is a food crisis where people died, the numbers will be minimal or not even mentioned.

What are the major media in China? In Beijing in English - China Daily and The Global Times.  The China Daily has more freedom to report on the news but is hamstrung with the tight conditions of what can and cannot be reported., with much of the news sent from Xinhua, the official China news agency.  Oftentimes times there will an article or two from AP (Associated Press), AFP (Agence France Press) or even Reuters, if not too sensitive or against China.

The Global Times is the English-language equivalent of the China Peoples' News -- the official mouthpiece of the Chinese government, and oftentimes feverishly nationalistic.

Which one do you use on a regular basis?  Both The China Daily and the Global Times to catch an idea of where the government is heading, the interrelationships between China and the world, as well as financial and technology news, and their crossword puzzles.  Other than that, they're perfect for wrapping my garbage.

How do you keep up with international issues (newspapers, radio, TV, Internet)?

I use a VPN to download the "forbidden" media (newspapers, magazines, special reports, Think tanks reporting on China, which is practically everything from the west except for the Washington Post and the UK Daily Mail. Sometimes the Guardian can be accessed without difficulty.

LinkedIn is easily accessible, except a VPN is often necessary to connect with a link within a posted article.

Further to my previous post;

Here in Guangzhou we can pick up Pearl TV (part time English) from Hong Kong. Their news programmes can be a little more enlightening but are obviously transmitted with a delay, as when a sensitive topic is touched on the programme will switch to something else and then back again. At least they are not filled with South China Sea and military exercise news which is repeated over and over on the mainland news programmes.

For entertainment the Internet video websites are the place to go although since the 2014 clampdown, many of the better foreign dramas and films have been removed. We did manage to see the last series of Game of Thrones from Tencent Video for the princely sum of 30 yuan (which gave us a months viewing).  Another popular site is Soho and there are several others. Some of the content is free on these sites but some requires payment.

Just recently I downloaded the BBC news app for my phone. I'm surprised and happy to say that it loads totally fine for me without any VPN required (for now... ). I've heard from various people that BBC is generally unbiased.

True, about the BBC being unbiased.  However, from time to time there is an unflattering article about the mainland and even with a VPN it is next to impossible to download.  Strangely, the rest of the links of the same BBC page work.

Ahhh, good to know. I wonder how often the government looks through and tries to filter articles out. Maybe they keep their eye out more after a major event or incident.

Lately the news app seems to be focusing on the different social pressures in China, like the "leftover women" and "bare branch" men topic. And there's always a few articles floating around about the economic issues. I'm realizing now that there aren't often many positive topics about China. Well, there is an article about the new glass bridge =p

Everything is checked through keyword searches.  The CCP has an extremely effective filtering system that immediately blocks what it deems "offensive" material.  They promote the longest and tallest glass bridge in the world, the "highest tower," the "most of this" and the "best of that" in order to "revitalize" the Chinese people's spirits., since they have always considered themselves "victim"s of western imperialism,  Japanese invasion, foreign culture, etc., etc.

Very interesting... I always wondered about how they filter those things other than just by blacklisting particular IP addresses. Thanks for the info =)

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