New York Times Takes Down Chinese Propaganda Advertorials

New York Times Takes Down Chinese Propaganda Advertorials
The New York Times building in New York City, N.Y., on June 30, 2020. (Johannes Eisele/AFP via Getty Images)
Cathy He

The New York Times has deleted hundreds of advertorials by a Chinese propaganda outlet, after ending its relationship with the state media, according to The Washington Free Beacon.

China Daily, an English-language Chinese state-run newspaper, has over the years paid millions of dollars to major American outlets including The Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, and the New York Times to run supplements called “China Watch,” which contain propaganda disguised as news.

A New York Times spokesperson told The Washington Free Beacon that it ended its partnership with China Daily. "We made the decision at the beginning of this year to stop accepting branded content ads from state run media, which includes China Daily,” she said.

The move comes amid growing scrutiny of Chinese influence across corporate America and academia.

China Daily’s recent financial filings with the Justice Department (DOJ) show that it paid more than $4.6 million to The Washington Post and nearly $6 million to the Wall Street Journal since November 2016. It also showed the outlet paid The New York Times $50,000 in 2018.

The Washington Post told The Epoch Times in June that it no longer includes the advertorials, with the last insert running last year.

China Daily registered as a foreign agent under the Foreign Agents Registration Act in 1983. That law requires registered foreign agents to provide the DOJ with copies of all propaganda “circulated among two or more persons.” It also requires registrants to submit to the department, twice a year, an itemized report of spending inside the United States.

In June, a group of Republican lawmakers wrote to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) asking her to end the distribution of China Daily to congressional offices. Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.), who led the initiative, recently told The Epoch Times that no response has been received.

“We require foreign outlets, propaganda outlets, to register as foreign agents in the United States of America, and yet we have them appearing on our chief decision-makers in America, our lawmakers’, doorsteps. We have this propaganda newspaper show up on our doorsteps,” Banks said.

“So it’s astonishing to me that it happens to begin with.”

Earlier this year, the State Department designated China Daily, along with eight other Chinese state-run media operating in the United States, as foreign missions over their role as propaganda organs of the Chinese Communist Party. It also slashed the number of Chinese staff allowed to work at the outlets’ U.S. offices.

Cathy He is the politics editor at the Washington D.C. bureau. She was previously an editor for U.S.-China and a reporter covering U.S.-China relations.
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