China News Service
CNS headquarters
Founded1952; 70 years ago (1952)
TypeBroadcast radio, television and online
  • China
Area served
Mainland China
OwnerUnited Front Work Department of the Chinese Communist Party

China News Service (CNS; simplified Chinese: 中国新闻社; traditional Chinese: 中國新聞社; pinyin: Zhōngguó Xīnwénshè) is the second largest state-owned 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 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.[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.[5][6] According to the Jamestown Foundation, CNS is "the CCP’s main propaganda organ targeting overseas Chinese."[7]

Since 2001, CNS has held a biannual Global Chinese Language Media Forum in China.[8] CNS controls the Chinese New Zealand Herald, which is co-owned by New Zealand Media and Entertainment.[6] The editor-in-chief of CNS until February 2015 was Liu Beixian, who was later charged with bribery offenses during the anti-corruption campaign under Xi Jinping.[9]

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.[10][11]

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.[12] 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.”[13]

In 2019, CNS began a campaign to increase its influence on overseas social media.[14][15][16] According to the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, CNS was involved in targeted disinformation and propaganda campaigns during the 2019–20 Hong Kong protests.[17] According to a 2020 investigation by ProPublica, CNS hired a third-party firm to create fake Twitter accounts to spread disinformation related to the COVID-19 pandemic.[16][18]

In June 2020, the United States Department of State designated China News Service, along with other Chinese state media outlets, as a foreign mission.[19][20]

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. 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 (in American English). ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2020-06-09.
  4. ^ Allen-Ebrahimian, Bethany (December 21, 2017). "Beijing Builds Its Influence in the American Media". Foreign Policy (in American English). Archived from the original on August 11, 2019. Retrieved 2019-08-21.
  5. ^ Walters, Laura (2019-06-10). "Chinese-language media told to promote Govt initiatives". Newsroom (in Australian English). Retrieved 2019-06-16.
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ Hála, Martin; Jirouš, Filip; Ševčíková, Petra. "How the CCP Mobilized a Cross-Border Disinformation Campaign Against the Czech Senate Speaker". Jamestown Foundation. Retrieved 18 May 2021.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  8. ^ "China's Outward Propaganda Strategy Undermines Independence of Overseas Chinese Media Outlets". Center for International Media Assistance (in American English). 11 April 2018. Retrieved 2021-11-15.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  9. ^ "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.
  10. ^ Catherine Chomiak, Tracy Connor and. "Chinese Government Media Calls U.S. Ambassador Racial Slur". NBC. Archived from the original on 6 April 2020. Retrieved 30 January 2020.
  11. ^ "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.
  12. ^ 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 (in American English). Archived from the original on July 21, 2019. Retrieved 2019-08-21.
  13. ^ 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 (in American English). p. 9. Retrieved 2021-09-05.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  14. ^ "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.
  15. ^ 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.
  16. ^ 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.
  17. ^ 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.
  18. ^ 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.
  19. ^ Wong, Edward (2020-06-22). "U.S. Designates Four More Chinese News Organizations as Foreign Missions". The New York Times (in American English). ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-06-23.
  20. ^ Ruwitch, John; Kelemen, Michele (June 22, 2020). "Trump Administration Labels 4 More Chinese News Outlets 'Foreign Missions'". NPR. Retrieved June 22, 2020.