Wednesday, December 22, 2004
Jail and stock exchange, the two faces of China
The two pieces of news broke up the same day and it revealed a lot on today's China. First read this euphoric article by China Daily: "Today's trading debut of Beijing Media on the Hong Kong stock exchange marks the first overseas flotation of a mainland newspaper - a significant step to modernize China's media industry. The ground-breaking listing of the advertising and sales unit of the Beijing Youth Daily, one of China's most popular newspapers, will help lift industry standards while giving international investors an unprecedented opportunity to invest in China's media industry. The retailing portion of this initial public offering has been covered 422 times - a figure which bears full testimony to overseas investors' great interests in the newspaper and the promising Chinese media market it represents. The Beijing Youth Daily reported a 20 per cent increase in revenue last year to 900 million yuan (US$109 million), and after-tax profits of 150 million yuan (US$18 million)." And now have a look on the The Guardian's article...
"The Chinese police arrested one of the country's most influential journalists yesterday in the latest phase of their campaign to stifle critical discussion by prominent liberal intellectuals. The detention of Chen Min, the chief editorial writer at China Reform Magazine - who wrote under the pen name Xiao Shu -, has heightened concern that the Communist party may be reverting to old-style repression to counter the spread of independent thinking on the internet, in the universities, and in the increasingly bold media organisations. Coming after the arrest or demotion of at least half a dozen other "public intellectuals" - a term of former media praise that has suddenly become an expression of political abuse - it has upset the hope that President Hu Jintao will allow more freedom of expression than his predecessor, Jiang Zemin." Nothing to add.
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