Chinese propaganda outlet paid iconic US newspapers $19 mn in ads, printing: Report

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New York: A Chinese propaganda media outlet has paid top US newspapers nearly $19 million for advertising and printing expenses over the past four years, media reports said.

China Daily, an English-language newspaper controlled by the Chinese Communist Party, has paid more than $4.6 million to The Washington Post and nearly $6 million to The Wall Street Journal since November 2016, the records show, The Daily Caller reported citing documents filed with the US Justice Department.

Both newspapers have published paid supplements that China Daily produces called “China Watch.” The inserts are designed to look like real news articles, though they often contain a pro-Beijing spin on contemporary news events, reported the news website. 

One insert from September 2018 touted an initiative pushed by Chinese President Xi Jinping with the headline: “Belt and Road aligns with African nations.” The same insert ran a story titled “Tariffs to take toll on U.S. homebuyers” that asserted that U.S. tariffs on Chinese lumber would raise the cost of building homes in the United States, reports The Daily Caller.

China Daily also paid for advertising in several other newspapers: The New York Times ($50,000), Foreign Policy ($240,000), The Des Moines Register ($34,600) and CQ-Roll Call ($76,000).

It spent a total of $11,002,628 on advertising in U.S. newspapers, and another $265,822 on advertising with Twitter.

China Daily has also paid out more than $7.6 million to newspapers and printing companies for its newspaper for U.S.-based readers, the Justice Department’s filings show as reported by the website.

The Los Angeles Times, The Seattle Times, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Chicago Tribune, The Houston Chronicle and The Boston Globe are all listed as clients of China Daily. The Chinese outlet paid the Los Angeles Times $657,523 for printing services, according to the FARA filings, reported the website.

The Justice Department has for years required China Daily to disclose its activities semi-annually under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), reported the news website.

The revelation came at a time when China is facing the heat over allegations that the COVID-19 virus originated from the nation.