Established in 1863, the New Zealand Herald has the highest circulation of any newspaper in the country. In 2015, the Herald’s owner, NZME Publishing, formed a 50:50 joint venture with a former banker named Wáng Lìlì 王立立 to publish the Chinese NZ Herald.
Yesterday, Kiwi website Newsroom had this to report:
An investigation by Newsroom, with the help of China propaganda experts, found the news organization’s operational structure, and its Chinese state internet and security permits, amounted to the news site coming under the supervision and control of various Chinese Communist Party (CCP) authorities.
NZME denied the substance of the article, saying “the Chinese NZ Herald is not beholden to China’s media guidelines and censorship requirements.”
But the Chinese NZ Herald advertises state control on its own website! If you scroll down to the bottom of any webpage on the Chinese NZ Herald, you’ll see this: “京ICP备13048822号-26 京公网安备 11010202007750号.” That is a registration number from the Beijing internet authorities, tied to a Beijing registered company (called 北京中新唐印科技发展有限公司) — you can look it up on the Chinese government’s website registration portal.
In order to maintain this registration, the company has to comply with Chinese internet censorship laws, no exceptions. Displaying the registration number is as clear and loud an advertisement of control from Beijing as an enormous hammer and sickle and Chinese flag would be.