At the 19th National Congress last October, Xi Jinping’s new banner term, “Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era,” was enshrined in the Party’s constitution. This week, it looks like President Xi may have received another honor — his own ideology in the realm of news and public opinion. The Party’s official People’s Daily reported on June 14 that a discussion forum was held on June 13 on the topic of “Xi Jinping News Thought and Theory” (习近平新闻思想理论). This marks the first time that the phrase “Xi Jinping News Thought” (习近平新闻思想) has appeared in the People’s Daily — and could be a mark of the term’s ascendance.

THIS WEEK IN CHINA’S MEDIA

June 9 – June 15

➢  United Front Work Department (中央统战部) holds forum of “online representatives”(网络代表人士)
➢  Party newspapers hold a forum on “Xi Jinping News Thought and Theory”(习近平新闻思想理论), and teaching materials on Xi Jinping News Thought are published.
➢  “People’s Express” platform jointly launched by People’s Daily and Baidu
➢  Video platform Tik Tok reports daily active users surpassing 150 million
➢  City of Xiamen forms first group of “cybersecurity volunteers.”

[1] United Front Work Department Holds Forum of “Online Representatives”

On June 11, the United Front Work Department of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party (中央统战部) held a forum bringing together more than 50 so-called “online representatives” (网络代表人士), including executives from top internet companies, operators of new media and we-media platforms (自媒体平台), “Big V” (网络大V) internet celebrities, online writers and others to “jointly study the spirit of General Secretary Xi Jinping’s important speech to the National Work Conference on Cybersecurity (全国网络安全和信息化工作会议), held back in April. Among those in attendance were Zhou Hongyi (周鸿祎), the founder and CEO of the software company Qihoo, Zhou Yuan (周源), the founder and CEO of Zhihu, and Li Wu (李武), the founder of Blue Whale Media (蓝鲸财经).

Zhou Hongyi, the Qihoo founder, and also a delegate to the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, told those gathered that cybersecurity has already bid farewell to the era of “information security” and now moved into an era of “big security” (大安全). In this new era, said Zhou, there could be no broader national security without ensuring cybersecurity — and there could be no way of building China into an “internet power” (网络强国). Echoing the language of the Party leadership, Zhou said that everyone must abide by “the correct view of cybersecurity” (正确的网络安全观), and must employ new cybersecurity strategies and methods, actively working to create the proper environment for cybersecurity.

Key Chinese Reports:

WeChat public account “New Words on the United Front” (统战新语): 50余位网络代表人士齐聚中央统战部,共话网络同心圆!

[2] Party newspapers hold a forum on “Xi Jinping News Thought and Theory”

The Party’s official People’s Daily reported on June 14 that the newspaper held a discussion forum on June 13 on the topic of “Xi Jinping News Thought and Theory” (习近平新闻思想理论). This marks the first time that the phrase “Xi Jinping News Thought” (习近平新闻思想) has appeared in the People’s Daily — and could be a mark of the term’s ascendance. According to the report, scholars from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Tsinghua University, Peking University and other institutions were present at the discussion forum — and all “fully affirmed the People’s Daily‘s trailblazing role in implementing Xi Jinping News Thought.”

According to the People’s Daily, there was a consensus at the meeting that since the 18th National Congress of the CCP in 2012, there had been continued breaking of new ground in the Party’s news and public opinion work (新闻舆论工作), and that the fundamental reason for these advances had been the “scientific direction” (科学指引) provided by Xi Jinping News Thought.

Also on June 14, the official Xinhua News Agency reported that a new book called “Lessons in Xi Jinping News Thought” (习近平新闻思想讲义), edited by the Central Propaganda Department and published by the People’s Publishing House (人民出版社) and Study Press (学习出版社), was now available in bookstores across China. The report said the book was important teaching material in Xi Jinping News Thought.

Key Chinese Reports:

People’s Daily (人民日报): 高举旗帜 守正创新 人民日报召开习近平新闻思想理论研讨会

Xinhua News Agency (新华社): 《习近平新闻思想讲义(2018年版)》出版发行

[3] Launch Ceremony for “People’s Express,” a New Comprehensive News Platform

On June 11, the People’s Daily held a launch ceremony for “People’s Express” (人民号), a brand new news platform created in “comprehensive strategic cooperation” with the technology company Baidu. The AI-enabled platform, which has invited more than 2,000 mainstream news organizations, government agencies and other bodies to join up, claims to provide comprehensive mobile content production and distribution services. The platform will allow individual content producers to share income on the basis of content performance.

Linkage and cooperation with commercial media platforms is a major distinguishing characteristic of “People’s Express,” according to Chinese news reports. At the launch ceremony, the People’s Daily and Baidu formally signed a strategic cooperation agreement. The agreement involves the linking of “People’s Express” with “Baijiahao” (百家号), Baidu’s content search and distribution platform. Users registered on the “Baijiahao” platform will be green-lighted for opening “People’s Express” accounts, and users of “People’s Express” will benefit from traffic on the “Baijiahao” platform.

Key Chinese Reports:

People’s Daily (人民日报): 全国移动新媒体聚合平台“人民号”上线
Media Observer (传媒大观察): 国家队“人民号”进军自媒体平台,用户收益百度买单

[4] Daily Active Users of Tik Tok Surpass 150 Million, Many Government Bodies and Enterprises Join the Platform

On June 12, Tik Tok (抖音), the short video platform operated by Jinri Toutiao, made its first release of numbers on users of the platform, reporting 150 million daily active users. More than 40 percent of active users are in the 24-30 age group. The platform reports that more than 500 government organs and mainstream media have joined, including People’s Daily Online, CCTV News, the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission and others. According to a report from Xinhua News Agency, two of the earliest official organizations to join Tik Tok, the Chinese Communist Youth League and China Peace, a website operated by the Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission, both recorded more than a millions fans on the platform.

Tik Tok can be said to be an up-and-coming social media platform in China, but still lags behind WeChat and Weibo in popularity.

Key Chinese Reports:

WeChat public account “Chief Editor Wen Jing” (主编温静):  抖音日活超1.5亿,与腾讯的竞争公开化底气在哪里?

[5] Xiamen Forms First Group of “Cybersecurity Volunteers”

According to a report from Xinhua News Agency, police in Xiamen have formed a “cybersecurity volunteer” (网络安全志愿者) group in order to “extensively mobilize the masses to participate in the governance of the internet.” The report said the group comprised a broad range of website managers, operators of popular WeChat accounts, security personnel at internet service companies, experts and scholars, university students and “ordinary city residents who care about cybersecurity.”

According to Chinese media reports, the “cybersecurity volunteers” of Xiamen will conduct propaganda activities concerning cybersecurity, and will be tasked with providing leads on online crimes and irregularities, “assisting the police in raising the level of prevention and control, and responsiveness, in internet security.”

Key Chinese Reports:
Xinhua News Agency (新华网): 厦门成立首批“网络安全志愿者”队伍