China’s state broadcaster CCTV plans to expand its global operations next year as Beijing seeks to boost the country’s influence overseas. China Central Television (CCTV) will increase the number of foreign correspondent positions to 80 in 2012 from the 66 it expects to have at the end of this year, the official Xinhua news agency said. It also plans to set up two studios in North America and Africa, each employing more than 200 people, the report said, without specifying where.
Xinhua did not say how many studios CCTV currently has around the world. The expansion in is line with Beijing’s publicly stated aim to preserve China’s “cultural security” and boost the country’s soft power overseas. The government has earmarked 45 billion yuan (US$7.1 billion) to fund the expansion of state-owned media groups including Xinhua, CCTV and CRI radio, according to previous media reports.
Communist Party chiefs agreed on a list of “cultural development guidelines” at an annual meeting in Beijing earlier this month, partly aimed at making Chinese media more competitive in foreign markets. In recent years, CCTV has launched channels in Russian, Arabic, Spanish and French in addition to its overseas Chinese-language and English service.