China to re-brand itself in new year with ‘soft power’ media offensive

by WorldTribune Staff, January 1, 2017

China’s largest television network has re-launched its international on-air and online presence in an effort to promote “positive propaganda” overseas.

CCTV’s international newscasts will now carry CGTN logos, while CGTN has unveiled two new smartphone apps: one that contains mostly news articles and one for live broadcasts.
CCTV’s international newscasts have unveiled two new smartphone apps: one that contains mostly news articles.

Central China Television (CCTV) launched the new overseas offensive on Jan. 1 via the newly-named China Global Television Network (CGTN).

The move is part of Beijing’s push to extend its global reach via “soft power” tactics and follows President Xi Jinping’s call for media to re-brand China by improving its image and narrative and expanding its reach to the global audience.

CGTN will have TV channels in English, Arabic, French, Spanish and Russian with production centers in Washington and Nairobi. It will also have a video newsletter agency and a new media agency.

On Dec. 30, CCTV unveiled several new mobile apps under the CGTN brand, and visitors to CCTV’s non-Chinese language websites were directed to a new website.

The broadcaster published a congratulatory letter from Xi on Dec. 31 in which the president urged the newly launched CGTN to “tell China’s story well, spread China’s voice well, let the world know a three-dimensional, colorful China, and showcase China’s role as a builder of world peace.”

Xi said in February that “onshore portals must follow the party line and promote positive propaganda as the main theme”.