Despite of the economic modernization in China, the PR strategies have to proceed with caution to don’t disturb the Chinese government.
Due to the strong control that Chinese government exerts over media, PR in China has become more difficult.
Over the last years, the Chinese government has been controlling media to avoid any potential attack against its authority. The administration has several tactics to keep order such as strict media controls through monitoring systems and firewalls or censor publications or websites. As example of this, the prestigious search engine Google, has no presence in China due to the Internet censorship.
China is a country where media is tightly controlled and the censorship is used to drive the public conversation and for avoid sensitive topics. This strong censorship has affected the nature and quality of the media.
What this means for PR?
Companies have keep in mind the censorship restrictions in China. The brand communication must follow certain rules for any message they wish to publish in order to obtain media coverage and avoid the possibility that the message is liable to be censored or blocked.
The Chinese government doesn’t enable press releases with some topics and words such as ‘freedom’, ‘imprisonment’ or ‘human rights’. In addition, the PR communications can’t insinuate that there are shortages of any service or product in China or that without your service or product, China would not be able to do something.
Essentially, this means that PR strategies have to be careful during the communication and pay attention to the Chinese restrictions, otherwise its efforts to communicate the brand will have been all for naught.
The acts of the Chinese government against some magazines is a clear example of its power in order to avoid bad practices.
The censorship tool in China has removed the license of a newspaper and suspended the activity of other three magazines due to illegally transferring of their publication rights.
The involved media are the Commercial Times, Electronics World, Net Friend World, and China Chain Store, as reported by the State General Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SAPPRFT).
Commercial Times with headquarter in Mongolia has shared with cultural companies and individuals its publication and operation rights since 2010, that is the reason why has lost its license. As of that agreement, the newspaper has received $52,117, according to SAPPRFT.
In November 2012 the censorship tool of the Chinese government ordered to the newspaper stop its operations and corrects its illegal practices, however the Commercial Times continued working.
Due this insubordination, last month the government removed the licenses of the newspaper and also the licenses of all newspaper’s journalists.
The administration has penalized the three magazines, Electronics World, Net Friend World and China Chain Store due to illegally rent of its publication rights to cultural companies. Besides, the SAPPRFT decided that the magazines exceeded its business nature when they published a vast number of academic essays.
The punishment to these magazines has supposed to Electronics World and Net Friend World, six months of suspension of its services, China Chain Store was given three months to correct “its illegal” activities.
As reported by the administration, the illegal practices carried out by those magazines has a negative social impact because they have produced disturbances in the market and industry order and have impaired the credibility of news organizations and journalists.
The administration has launched last March, a campaign in order to remove the fake news and the blackmail in the industry.
The Chinese authorities are also keeping an eye on the social platforms but they are harder to control due to the large amount of information. That’s why companies have to be careful with those restrictions during their PR campaigns.
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