|Information office overview|
|Formed||April 8, 1980|
|Jurisdiction||Government of China|
|Headquarters||Dongcheng, Beijing, China|
|Literal meaning||State Council News Office|
The State Council Information Office (SCIO; Chinese: 国务院新闻办公室; pinyin: Guówùyuàn Xīnwén Bàngōngshì; lit. 'State Council News Office') is the chief information office of the State Council of the People's Republic of China and an external name of the Central Propaganda Department of the Chinese Communist Party.
Historically, SCIO was the external name of the Office of External Propaganda (OEP) of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) under an arrangement termed "one institution with two names." In 2014, OEP was absorbed into the Central Propaganda Department, turning SCIO into an external nameplate.
Further information: Propaganda in China, Chinese information operations and information warfare, and Internet censorship in China
The SCIO was formed in 1991 when the CCP Central Committee decided that the External Propaganda Leading Group (中央对外宣传小组) of the CCP Central Committee should have the name of State Council Information Office externally. The External Propaganda Leading Group was transformed into the Office of External Propaganda (OEP, 中央对外宣传办公室). The office was created with the goal of improving the Chinese government's international image following the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests and massacre. According to scholar Anne-Marie Brady, the SCIO became a separate unit from the CCP Central Propaganda Department but still connected to it and was the "public face of this new direction in foreign propaganda work."
The office formerly had responsibility for internet censorship in China. The SCIO's Internet Affairs Bureau dealt with internet censorship and repressed "disruptive" (anti-Chinese government) activity on the web in mainland China. However, in May 2011, the SCIO transferred the offices which regulated the internet to a new subordinate agency, the Cyberspace Administration of China. In 2014, the OEP was absorbed into the CCP's Central Propaganda Department.
In November 2020, the director of the SCIO, Xu Lin, gave a speech in which he emphasized the need to "resolutely guard against digitalisation diluting the party’s leadership, resolutely prevent the risk of capital manipulating public opinion."