People's Daily launches English news app to spread Chinese influence
The influential mouthpiece of China's ruling Communist Party, The Peoples' Daily, has launched an English-language mobile app. The move is a "strategic step" aimed at furthering Beijing's influence globally. It comes ahead of the crucial party congress which is expected to confirm a second term for President Xi Jinping, who has been keen on improving the country's image and influence abroad.
"To develop an English app is a strategic move to ... further, enhance our global influence and presence," said People's Daily Newspaper Group president, Yang Zhenwu. "We are striving to achieve what President Xi has asked, namely to speak well of China and to spread his word well." A Communist Party representative said the launch was important to spread the party's theories and philosophy.
The People's Daily sold an average 3.18 million copies every day in 20016. In 2014, it launched a Chinese-language app which has received 200 million downloads but until now, there was no English app. The newspaper has a website that publishes articles in eight languages. China has launched multiple international news channels such as Xinhua and the China Global Television Network (CGTN).
China has sought to challenge the US' predominance as the world's superpower. On this front, it is rapidly modernizing and expanding its military to boost its hard power. However, it's crucial for China to boost its soft power by creating a more favorable opinion about it worldwide. Launching news content in global languages would help China set its own narrative.