Experts Say Chinese Media Expanding Fast

Daily Pennsylvanian
University of Pennsylvania

Even though China’s media are controlled by the government, at least two experts believe they are close to being as successful and competent as American media.

All media outlets in China are government-affiliated. As a result, print, online and broadcasting media must report their content to different governmental organizations, said Zhengrong Hu, professor at the Communication University of China said yesterday at the Annenberg Center.

However, he added that the Chinese government is slowly loosening its grip. As a result, the Chinese media are changing in three major ways: use of advertisements, conglomeration and international foreign direct investment.

“Chinese media has expanded quite a lot,” Hu said.

He added that currently, China has 1,913 television stations, and the industry’s annual revenue is $10 billion.

Even with reforms in the works, Hu showed concerns for the future of China’s media.

Current policies and political parties in China are still hindering broadcasting-media development. Because of various rules and regulations, it is difficult to produce programming. The shortage of content is becoming a bottleneck for broadcasters; stations are able to produce less than 70 percent of the programming needed.

Guoming Yu, professor at the Renmin University of China, also spoke on the subject — though his words had to be translated by third-year Political Science doctoral candidate Xiaoxiao Zhan.

Yu sees Chinese print media as an industry in decline due to fast-changing technology.

He said that “although there are 1,926 newspapers and 300 million readers,” newspapers generate only $6 billion in revenue, a paltry sum in comparison to China’s population of about 1.3 billion.

“Due to online media and younger generations’ rejection toward [newspapers and magazines], print media revenue has decreased by 19 percent for the past decade,” he said.

If this pattern continues, Chinese print media will eventually collapse, he said.

In the future, Yu suggested that print and online media may fuse together into a single unit.