X

China’s US Foreign Influence Operation Budget Centered On TV and Media

May 25th, 2021 13:35

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.

Read the rest here.

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.