China’s international growth is now expanding beyond its ‘goods and capitals’ facade, in order to reach –and reveal –its culture side. The country is trying to export its image through editorial and, thus, literary business.
The General Administration of Press and Publication (GAPP), Beijing’s governmental and communicational voice, is already pushing for Chinese media’s foreign investment, by establishing national offices abroad, cooperating with foreign partners, and adopting a suitable model from already-existing international news sources.
Political encouragement towards these changes is also greatly perceptible, as the government is working towards promoting and providing economic support, and wider information access to the country’s media industries. The Bank of China has already sealed an agreement to grant economic aid to domestic media companies. Control policies have also diminished, enabling Chinese companies to take-off more easily. Foreign companies are now more prone towards investing in China, as the country’s stock market is more accessible.
Internal cultural consolidation will thus define and launch China’s success abroad, as the country will take shape through domestic strength. The ultimate objective is to have China’s cultural assets follow the same path as its economy.
Chinese cuisine, for example, was cited by GAPP in relation to an expanding cultural dimension: “We hope that Chinese cultural companies will flourish in every corner of the world, in the same way as Chinese restaurants”. The Nation’s ambition is to build a competitive asset, to compete in the world arena of information while absorbing the experiences of other countries is the first step.
The international information sector has boomed over the last 10-15 years. The market is both lucrative and strategic. Acquisitions, mergers, and partnerships have played a central role in Anglo-Saxon and Western worlds. Such is the case with Rupert Murdoch, internationally renowned Australian figure whose activities ranges from film production (Fox Studios), to TV satellites, to press companies (of which The Wall Street Journal as his most recent novelty), to the world wide web (Myspace). Still other dominant agencies in the information arena are: the Anglo-Canadian news source Thomson Reuters; Dow Jones (still appertaining to Murdoch); and the US economy-oriented Bloomberg.
Beijing has already affirmed its global economic importance, and is now in the process of asserting its political international role. It is no coincidence that today, the Middle Kingdom is seeking to reach its circumferential audience through a wider, more available, information sector. It is the complement and the bastion of a new planetary power.