Articles from Caixin, one of China’s most influential business publications, can no longer be republished by domestic online news services, China’s internet watchdog has ruled.
On Wednesday, the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) published a list of more than 1,300 media sources approved for domestic republishing in China. Caixin was absent from the list.
A CAC spokesperson said internet news information service providers reprint news information “must follow the latest version of the list” and “those who reprint beyond the scope will be punished in accordance with laws and regulations.
While the spokesperson added that it was possible for other sources to be added or removed from the list in future, there was no mention of Caixin.
Caixin – founded in 2009 by Hu Shuli, a former Knight journalism fellow at Stanford University – has established a reputation for investigative journalism and ruffling official feathers.
It had aggressively reported on the coronavirus pandemic, including conducting an interview with a Hong Kong microbiologist in January 2020 who warned that China was underestimating the scale of the outbreak.
Caixin also reported that laboratories had found samples of a previously unknown virus in December 2019, but officials forbade the labs from sharing or reporting the data.
In 2016, Caixin posted an article on its English-language website saying CAC, which it called “a government censorship organ,” had deleted a March 3 article on Caixin’s Chinese-language website because it contained “illegal content.”
In 2011, during a talk at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club in Hong Kong, Hu said that powerful commercial interests, not just state censorship, are a threat to China’s press freedom.
• By George Russell.
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