As per a report The Guardian, China is reshaping the news landscape and weakening the fourth estate in many countries including India. “In India, the UC News browser – which is in Hindi and 15 other local languages – has 50 million users. Despite clashes on the border, it is hard to find a single story on China-India border tensions,” reported the British newspaper.
Amid the India-China standoff in Ladakh, Chinese government has censored the news about the conflict in Chinese media. But the Communist government is doing this not only in China, but in India, too.
China uses its private and public companies to suppress the dissemination of information in foreign countries, including in India. Two weeks ago, Indian intelligence agencies flagged 52 Chinese apps as threat to national security. The list included popular social media platforms TikTok and Bigo Live, file sharing service Shareit, UC Browser mobile web browser, e-commerce platform Shein, popular game Clash of Kings and apps made and pre-bundled by Xiaomi.
Previously it was reported that TikTok censors videos in that are problematic to Chinese authorities, not just in China but in the United States, India, and many other countries.
The data collected by Chinese companies- whether private or public- are at the disposal of the Communist government of China, as there is no clear demarcation between private property and public property in the Communist country.
In the last few months, the countries around the world have increased scrutiny of Chinese companies like Huawei, ZTE and are showing them the exit door, as they are a threat to the national security. Few days ago, the US government designated Chinese media houses as foreign diplomatic missions, arguing that the Chinese state media are operatives of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
This means, China Central Television, China News Service, People’s Daily and the Global Times would have to report details of their US staffing and what their US real estate holdings are to the State Department.
“These entities are not independent news organizations; they are effectively controlled by the Chinese Communist Party … also known as propaganda outlets,” David Stilwell, the State Department’s assistant secretary for East Asia and Pacific affairs stated.
Trump administration for the second time has taken this step in the space of three months. The US State Department had told Beijing in February that five of its official media agencies- Xinhua, CGTN, China Radio, China Daily, and Han Tian Development USA, which distributes The People’s Daily in the US would be subjected to the same rules as Chinese diplomats.
Almost all the Chinese companies are used by Chinese state and People’s Liberation Army to pursue the agenda of global domination. China is trying to undermine the socio-political system of the “free world” and impose its own system around the world.
Chinese are investing in media companies in foreign countries as well as aggressively promoting their own social media apps like TikTok, Zoom in foreign countries, in order to control the flow of information. By controlling the flow of information, Chinese government can control people’s reaction.
As seen in the case of UC News, China is using the app to control the flow of information among the residents of a foreign country, therefore using the app owned by Alibaba Group, a private company, as a state tool. Chinese apps like UC News need to be either banned or placed under heavy scrutiny.