China's propaganda outlet China Daily paid millions to prominent US newspapers and magazines in the last six months to buy media influence, an independent analyst reported citing documents filed with the US Justice Department.
According to disclosures made by the Justice Department, the state-run English-language newspaper China Daily paid several hundred thousand dollars to prominent American publications like Time magazine and Foreign Policy magazine in six-month. As much as USD 700,000 was paid to Time magazine; USD 371,577 to the Financial Times; USD 291,000 to Foreign Policy magazine; USD 272,000 to Los Angeles Times; and over USD 1 million to others.
Last month, The Daily Caller had reported China Daily, controlled by the Chinese Communist Party, paid more than USD 4.6 million to The Washington Post and nearly USD 6 million to The Wall Street Journal since November 2016.
Both newspapers reportedly published paid supplements that China Daily produces, called “China Watch”. The inserts are designed to look like real news articles, though they often contain a pro-Beijing spin on contemporary news events.
As per the Justice Department, China Daily also paid for advertising in several other newspapers, including The New York Times (USD50,000), Foreign Policy (USD240,000), The Des Moines Register (USD34,600), and CQ-Roll Call (USD76,000).
It spent USD 11,002,628 on advertising in US newspapers, and another USD 265,822 on advertising with Twitter.
The Justice Department has compelled China Daily to disclose its activities semi-annually for years under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). The most recent filing, which China Daily submitted on June 1, is the first to include detailed breakdowns of payments to American news outlets. The outlet disclosed those expenditures for the period between November 2016 and April 2020.
The Los Angeles Times, The Seattle Times, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Chicago Tribune, The Houston Chronicle, and The Boston Globe are all listed as clients of China Daily. According to FARA documents, the Chinese outlet paid the Los Angeles Times $657,523 for printing services.
Pro-democracy groups have long warned about the Chinese government's attempts to push propaganda through American news outlets.
The report comes when the coronavirus has put China Daily and other Beijing-controlled propaganda media outlets under intense scrutiny.
Chinese government officials have tried to divert blame for the spread of the virus to the United States and other Western nations. Many of the regime-controlled outlets, including China Daily, have echoed the communist leaders' talking points.