US media is reporting that China’s foreign influence operation budget in the US is mainly centered on television broadcasting and other media activities. According to a VOA report:
May 13, 2021 China’s big-budget foreign influence operation in the United States is heavily tilted toward television broadcasting and other media activities, according to newly disclosed Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) filings. The country’s state-owned China Global Television Network (CGTN) spent more than $50 million on its U.S. operations last year, accounting for nearly 80% of total Chinese spending on influencing U.S. public opinion and policy, according to FARA filings compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics. It was the first year for which CGTN, which began broadcasting in the U.S. in 2012, reported a complete spending figure. In 2019, CGTN had reported partial spending of about $43 million. In total, China spent nearly $64 million on propaganda and lobbying in the United States last year. […] China’s propaganda spending spree comes as Beijing seeks to burnish its global image amid a coronavirus pandemic that originated in the country’s city of Wuhan more than a year ago.
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The report notes that China Daily, a government-owned newspaper, reported more than $3 million in spending, down from more than $10 million in 2019.
In May, we reported that China had become the top spender on foreign influence operations in the US, with Chinese foreign agent spending skyrocketing from just over $10 million in 2016 to nearly $64 million in 2020.
The Global Influence Operations Report (GIOR) has extensively covered China’s media-centered influence operations in the West, including:
- An April report on how Chinese propaganda enters Western mainstream news outlets through advertorial inserts.
- An April report on China’s 22 million-strong internet troll army amplifying pro-China content online.
- A May report on how China uses ‘alternative media’ outlets to launder its propaganda to local audiences.