China News Service
Founded1 October 1952; 71 years ago (1952-10-01)
TypeBroadcast radio, television and online
  • China
Parent organization
United Front Work Department of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party

China News Service (CNS; Chinese: 中国新闻社) is the second largest state news agency in China, after Xinhua News Agency. China News Service was formerly run by the Overseas Chinese Affairs Office, which was absorbed into the United Front Work Department of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in 2018. Its operations have traditionally been directed at overseas Chinese worldwide and residents of Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan.[1][2][3][4]


CNS was established in 1952 as a successor to the CCP's International News Agency.[5][1] It has news offices and stations in every province in mainland China, as well as in Hong Kong and Macau. CNS also has news offices in foreign countries, including the United States, Japan, France, Thailand, New Zealand, and Australia.[6][7] According to the Jamestown Foundation, CNS is "the CCP's main propaganda organ targeting overseas Chinese."[8]

In 1990, CNS personnel were dispatched to the U.S. to found SinoVision and The China Press to counter negative perceptions of the Chinese government following the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests and massacre.[5]

Since 2001, CNS has held a biannual Global Chinese Language Media Forum in China (also known as World Chinese Language Media Forum), a large global summit of Chinese media leaders.[9][10] In 2007, CNS established the China News Service Overseas Center, which provides news reports, editorials, and layout for overseas Chinese media outlets.[5] In 2009, CNS established the Global Chinese Media Cooperative Union (GCMCU), which redistributes CNS and other Chinese state media content to other Chinese-language media outlets.[11][12] In Europe, newspapers and outlets such as Nouvelles d’Europe in France, Cine in Italia in Italy, Ouhua News in Spain, the Prague Chinese Times in the Czech Republic, and EurAsia Info in Switzerland carry CNS content.[12]

In 2014, CNS published an editorial which derided outgoing American ambassador to China Gary Locke. The editorial was widely criticized both within China and internationally for referring to the Chinese American ambassador as a banana which was interpreted as a racial slur. The article also mocked his Mandarin Chinese abilities and said that his ancestors would disown him if they knew about his loyalties.[13][14]

In 2017, a former editor-in-chief and Chinese Communist Party Committee Secretary of CNS until February 2015, Liu Beixian, was charged with taking bribes during the anti-corruption campaign under Xi Jinping and expelled from the CCP.[15][16]

In 2018, CNS became part of the United Front Work Department (UFWD) when its host organization, the Overseas Chinese Affairs Office, was folded into the UFWD.[17] The same year, a deputy head of the UFWD stated that "[a]s an important propaganda unit of the United Front, CNS must adhere to the concept of ‘newspapers run by politicians’ and thoroughly carry out political awareness work. CNS's important mission is to do good united front propaganda work within Overseas Chinese affairs."[12]

In 2019, CNS began a campaign to increase its influence on overseas social media.[18][19][20] According to NPR and the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, CNS was involved in targeted disinformation and propaganda campaigns during the 2019–20 Hong Kong protests.[21][22] That year, CNS released a public tender to increase its Twitter followers.[21] According to a 2020 investigation by ProPublica, CNS hired a third-party firm to create fake Twitter accounts to spread conspiracy theories and disinformation related to the COVID-19 pandemic.[20][23]

In June 2020, the United States Department of State designated China News Service, along with other Chinese state media outlets, as a foreign mission.[24][25]

During the Russian invasion of Ukraine, CNS repeated unsubstantiated Russian state media claims that the Bucha massacre was staged.[26] In 2023, cybersecurity researchers found that CNS had established sock puppet accounts on Twitter for influence operations in Latin America.[27]


Film and television production

During the early stages of CNS's establishment, a film team was created under Liao Chengzhi's guidance, led by Wu Jiang and others. From the 1950s onwards, numerous documentaries and operas, including "North and South of Taishan", "Heroes of Qilu", "Sisters Get Married Easily" and "The Pearl Pagoda", were produced and distributed in Hong Kong, Macau and overseas.[28][29][non-primary source needed]

In 1979, CNS's business departments underwent reconstruction. Following Liao Chengzhi's instruction to revive the agency's film work, a team of professionals from Beijing film production institutions were transferred by the agency's leadership to expand the film team into a dedicated department. This led to the establishment of the "Nanhai Film Company", with Wu Jiang as its chairman. In 1981, CNS produced its inaugural feature film, The Wilderness, under the banner of "Nanhai Film Company."[28][29][non-primary source needed]

Beginning with the film The Savage Land, the Film Department of the China News Agency (expanded to become the Film and Video Department in 1985) has since produced feature films and film documentaries, starring actors such as Liu Xiaoqing, Chen Baoguo, Pu Cunxin, Jiang Wen, and Ge You. The Department of Film Sound and Video has also worked with professionals from Changchun Film Studio, Beijing Film Studio and Shanghai Film Studio.[28]


In April 2007, CNS officially released a television news release called "China News Video". In October 2007, CNS and Sina Corporation signed a strategic cooperation agreement, and "China News Video" debuted on Sina.[30][non-primary source needed]

In July 2010, CNS adjusted the business of its Film and Television Department and set up a new Video News Department, positioning video news as the "third channel news", and using China News Service website as the basic communication platform to promote video interviews, and launching a column called "Focus on Net Affairs". Since its establishment in 2010, the department has been involved in the coverage of major events such as the "Two Sessions", the 2010 Yushu earthquake, Expo 2010, the 2010 Gansu mudslide, the 2010 Asian Games, and the 2012 Summer Olympics.[30][31][non-primary source needed]


CNS publishes China Newsweek, Fengya and World Chinese Media Yearbook in China, and China Digest (monthly) in Hong Kong, and runs the Hong Kong China News Press.[32]


CNS controls the Chinese New Zealand Herald, which is co-owned by New Zealand Media and Entertainment.[7]

Notable employees

The past presidents and editors-in-chief of China News Service are as follows:


According to scholars Filip Jirouš and Petra Ševčíková, "CNS's activity lies at the symbiotic intersection of propaganda and united front work." They state that such a symbiosis helps the CCP to shape the "information landscape" to better serve the party's policy goals.[12]

See also


  1. ^ a b Scotton, James Francis; Hachten, William A. (2010). New media for a new China. Malden, Mass.: Wiley-Blackwell. p. 117. ISBN 9781405187978. OCLC 435422517.
  2. ^ Joske, Alex (June 9, 2020). "The party speaks for you: Foreign interference and the Chinese Communist Party's united front system". Australian Strategic Policy Institute. JSTOR resrep25132. Archived from the original on June 9, 2020. Retrieved June 9, 2020.
  3. ^ O'Keeffe, Kate (2020-06-08). "China Steps Up Moves to Influence Diaspora Communities". The Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Archived from the original on 2021-01-01. Retrieved 2020-06-09.
  4. ^ Allen-Ebrahimian, Bethany (December 21, 2017). "Beijing Builds Its Influence in the American Media". Foreign Policy. Archived from the original on August 11, 2019. Retrieved 2019-08-21.
  5. ^ a b c Diamond, Larry; Schell, Orville (2019-08-01). China's Influence and American Interests: Promoting Constructive Vigilance. Hoover Press. pp. 100, 106, 107, 112, 120. ISBN 978-0-8179-2286-3. OCLC 1104533323. Archived from the original on 2020-05-28. Retrieved September 4, 2022.
  6. ^ Walters, Laura (2019-06-10). "Chinese-language media told to promote Govt initiatives". Newsroom. Archived from the original on 2021-02-26. Retrieved 2019-06-16.
  7. ^ a b Walters, Laura (September 23, 2019). "Chinese NZ Herald under Chinese state 'control' - experts". Newsroom. Archived from the original on September 22, 2019. Retrieved September 23, 2019.
  8. ^ Hála, Martin; Jirouš, Filip; Ševčíková, Petra. "How the CCP Mobilized a Cross-Border Disinformation Campaign Against the Czech Senate Speaker". China Brief. Jamestown Foundation. Archived from the original on 2021-04-12. Retrieved 18 May 2021.
  9. ^ "China's Outward Propaganda Strategy Undermines Independence of Overseas Chinese Media Outlets". Center for International Media Assistance. 11 April 2018. Archived from the original on 2018-08-21. Retrieved 2021-11-15.
  10. ^ Grieve, Nick McKenzie, Charlotte (2020-12-02). "Beijing controls Chinese-language media agencies in Australia, says intel agency". The Sydney Morning Herald. Archived from the original on 2023-11-07. Retrieved 2023-12-17.((cite web)): CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  11. ^ "Global Chinese Media Cooperative Union". China Media Project. 2023-05-12. Archived from the original on 2024-06-25. Retrieved 2024-06-27.
  12. ^ a b c d Jirouš, Filip; Ševčíková, Petra (2021-07-30). "Covert propaganda operations in plain sight: The CCP united front system's media network in Europe" (PDF). Sinopsis. p. 9. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2021-07-30. Retrieved 2021-09-05.
  13. ^ Catherine Chomiak, Tracy Connor and. "Chinese Government Media Calls U.S. Ambassador Racial Slur". NBC News. Archived from the original on 6 April 2020. Retrieved 30 January 2020.
  14. ^ "Official Chinese media outlet uses racial slur 'banana' to insult departing US envoy". South China Morning Post. March 1, 2014. Archived from the original on 30 January 2020. Retrieved 30 January 2020.
  15. ^ "Former head of Chinese news agency expelled from party for graft". Reuters. 2017-11-13. Archived from the original on 2020-01-26. Retrieved 2020-01-26.
  16. ^ "中国新闻社原党委书记、社长刘北宪被开除党籍_凤凰资讯" [Liu Beixian, former Party Secretary and President of China News Service, was expelled from the Party]. Phoenix Television (in Chinese). 2017-11-13. Archived from the original on November 13, 2017. Retrieved 2023-12-20.
  17. ^ Joske, Alex (May 9, 2019). "Reorganizing the United Front Work Department: New Structures for a New Era of Diaspora and Religious Affairs Work". Jamestown Foundation. Archived from the original on July 21, 2019. Retrieved 2019-08-21.
  18. ^ "China's propaganda machine is spending over $1 million to buy influence on foreign social media". Quartz. August 21, 2019. Archived from the original on February 1, 2020. Retrieved January 25, 2020.
  19. ^ Mudie, Luisetta, ed. (August 22, 2019). "Chinese State Media Hire Digital Firms to Boost Followers on Facebook, Twitter". Radio Free Asia. Archived from the original on January 26, 2020. Retrieved January 25, 2020.
  20. ^ a b Kao, Jeff; Li, Mia Shuang (March 26, 2020). "How China Built a Twitter Propaganda Machine Then Let It Loose on Coronavirus". ProPublica. Archived from the original on March 30, 2020. Retrieved March 31, 2020.
  21. ^ a b Wood, Daniel; McMinn, Sean; Feng, Emily (September 17, 2019). "China Used Twitter To Disrupt Hong Kong Protests, But Efforts Began Years Earlier". NPR. Archived from the original on July 13, 2021. Retrieved August 19, 2023. Documents show that Chinese government agencies pay to acquire more social media followers. A tender posted on Aug. 16 by Chinese state-run outlet China News offers 1.25 million yuan ($176,900) to acquire more Twitter followers.
  22. ^ Elise Thomas & Dr Jacob Wallis, Tom Uren. "Tweeting through the Great Firewall". Australian Strategic Policy Institute. Archived from the original on 14 October 2019. Retrieved 4 September 2019.
  23. ^ Ao, Jia (March 30, 2020). "Army of PRC Twitter Bots Peddles Disinformation About Virus Origins". Radio Free Asia. Archived from the original on March 31, 2020. Retrieved March 31, 2020.
  24. ^ Wong, Edward (2020-06-22). "U.S. Designates Four More Chinese News Organizations as Foreign Missions". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on 2020-06-22. Retrieved 2020-06-23.
  25. ^ Ruwitch, John; Kelemen, Michele (June 22, 2020). "Trump Administration Labels 4 More Chinese News Outlets 'Foreign Missions'". NPR. Archived from the original on June 22, 2020. Retrieved June 22, 2020.
  26. ^ McCarthy, Simone; Xiong, Yong (6 April 2022). "As the world reacts in horror to Bucha, China's state media strikes a different tone". CNN. Archived from the original on 9 April 2022. Retrieved 9 April 2022.
  27. ^ Bergengruen, Vera (2023-07-11). "China's Online Influence Campaign in Latin America". Time. Archived from the original on 2023-07-16. Retrieved 2023-07-22.
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