China Media Guide

Information for Danwei's articles is generally drawn from the Chinese media - names like Legal Mirror, The Beijing News, and Chongqing Evening News appear frequently in the "Links and Sources" section at the ends of posts. Here, we present the Danwei readership with our reading list.

This is not meant to be a comprehensive list of Chinese media entities - such a thing would be drowned in the Daily newspapers published by party committees of every county seat across the country; rather, the newspapers, magazines, TV stations and websites listed here are those that we at Danwei read regularly, have a passing familiarity with, or simply feel are worthy of note.

This list will be expanded and updated periodically. Danwei readers are welcome to clue us in to other sources we ought to be aware of.

See Know Your Chinese Newspapers: Tabloids and broadsheets on Danwei for front page scans and more information about Beijing newspapers. See China Magazine Covers - Publication Numbers for a description of the kanhao system and a gallery of covers of magazines that try to hide their true identity.

Note: In the following list, ☆ indicates a media outtet closely affiliated with the government or party.

People's Daily Group
People's Daily (人民日报)
National voice of the Party. Also available in an English version.
Beijing Times (京华时报) ¥0.5
Part of People's Daily group but edited and managed like commercial newspapers such as Beijing Youth Daily. It borrows its design from Southern Metropolis Daily, and aspires to be a working-class paper, a beggars' paper
Southern Media Group
Southern Metropolitan Daily (南方都市报)
Southern Weekly (南方周末) ¥2
known for investigative exposés and a revolving door that lands editors in jail
Formerly 'Southern Weekend', the paper redid its front page in early 2006, adding the current English name to the nameplate
Other media entities
China Youth Daily (中国青年报)
Published since 1951 and distributed nationwide, it has always had a large reader base because universities and high schools were forced to subscribe. Nonetheless, it is a good and well-respected Chinese newspaper. According to their website, China Youth Daily has sells about half a million copies every day. The China Youth Daily is a different entity from Beijing Youth Daily.
Guangming Daily (光明日报)
Guangming Online also has a comprehensive index of newspapers and media groups.
Beijing Youth Daily Group
    Listed its 'advertising division' on the Hong Kong stock exchange in 2004.
Beijing Youth Daily (北京青年报)
(Legal) Mirror (法制晚报) ¥0.5
(they've taken 'Mirror' off the nameplate and masthead recently)
The First (竞报)
New paper launched in late 2004 and aligned somehow with the Beijing Olympic movement. It's a joint venture between the Beijing Daily Group, Beijing Youth Daily, and the Shanghai Media Group. Boasting a large quantity of photos and sports news, its quality has improved markedly since its early issues.
Current Affairs Magic Mirror (时事魔镜)
Current affairs cartoon magazine for teenagers. See Danwei's impressions of an early issue.
Beijing Daily Group
Beijing Daily(北京日报)
Beijing Morning Post (北京晨报) ¥0.5
Beijing Evening News (北京晚报) ¥0.5
The current issue is accessible off of the Beijing Daily front page.
The First (竞报)
New paper launched in late 2004 and aligned somehow with the Beijing Olympic movement. It's a joint venture between the Beijing Daily Group, Beijing Youth Daily, and the Shanghai Media Group. Boasting a large quantity of photos and sports news, its quality has improved markedly since its early issues.
Beijing Daily Messenger (信报) ¥0.5
Also known as Star Daily, its full name is 北京娱乐信报, Beijing Entertainment Messenger, and it does have quite a large section of entertainment news.
Other media entities
The Beijing News (新京报) ¥1
Southern Media Group and Guangming Daily join venture. On a quest to become the New York Times of China, though it has recently run into editorial oversight problems.
Wenhui-Xinmin United Press Group
Xinmin Evening News (新民晚报)
Oriental Morning Post (东方早报)
Other media entities
Jiefang Daily (解放日报)
Press organ of the Shanghai Party
Chongqing Evening News (重庆晚报
Yangcheng Evening News (Guangzhou) (羊城晚报)
Business Papers
National Business Daily 《每日经济新闻》
Joint venture between Jiefang Daily and Chengdu Daily newspaper groups; publishes eight pages apiece on domestic and international business news. Based in Shanghai.
China Business News 《第一财经日报》
First Chinese business daily, aims "to be the most influential, authoritative and respected financial daily newspaper in China, matching the future of Chinese economic development, and equivalent to world-class papers like the Wall Street Journal and Financial Times" (and it has engraved head-shots to demonstrate its 'equivalence'). But it has a reputation for being boring.
21st Century Business Herald (21世纪经济报道)
Southern Media Group publishes this paper twice weekly. Lengthy articles and in-depth industry analysis. Head-shots are ink drawings rather than Journal-style engravings.
The Economic Observer (经济观察报) ¥2
Business weekly. Self described as "China's leading weekly for economy, politics, and culture," the pink color makes its FT-knockoff status pretty obvious. Regular special features are particularly well-done, with The Economic Observer Review of Books completing the cultured air of this paper. The online version charges a fee except for a small number of free articles (although the PDFs make it to the P2P networks pretty quickly, which says something about its reputation). There's also an English version with occasional translations of selected articles.
China Business (中国经营报) ¥2
Business weekly. Published by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, which gives it access to lots of data and research.
Portal websites
Xinhuanet (新华网)
Xinhua's English service is at ChinaView
Baidu (百度)
Baidu News
Baidu News Ticker
Sina (新浪网)
China News
Most commented news articles
Netease (网易)
Sohu (搜狐)
Media MapExcellent index of local publications across the country
Eastday (东方网)
Eastday homepage
Xinhua Magazines
☆Outlook (瞭望新闻周刊)
Official newsweekly. Articles hosted directly on Xinhuanet.com.
Oriental Outlook (瞭望东方周刊) ¥6
Outlook spinoff also run by Xinhua; it's meant to be a quasi-independent, "alternative" news-weekly. Good domestic reporting.
Globe (环球)
Other media entities
Caijing (财经)
China's most respected business magazine, known for occasional muckraking stories - Caijing English Newsletter
China Newsweek (中国新闻周刊) ¥8
Founded in 2000 by China News Service, the country's second-largest news organization and the only wire service apart from Xinhua. Unrelated to the American family of Newsweek magazines.
Sanlian Life Week(三联生活周刊) ¥8
Perhaps the premier news and culture weekly. Also available on Sina
New Century Weekly (新世纪周刊) ¥5
Redesigned at the beginning of 2006 to be more like Sanlian.
Window on the South (南风窗)
Southern Media Group's entry into the business newsweekly market.
Vista (看天下) ¥7
A good deal of each issue is made up of translations and rewrites of international and Hong Kong magazine articles. Published fortnightly.
Southern People Weekly (南方人物周刊)
New Weekly (新周刊) ¥15
A biweekly culture and current events magazine. Perfect bound, it has more of a "glossy" look than the other magazines in this category, and its price reflects this. Recently celebrated its tenth anniversary.
Phoenix Weekly (凤凰周刊) ¥10
Loosely associated with the Hong Kong-based Phoenix TV station. This magazine operates on the mainland under a special license, and includes a VCD of a Phoenix TV program in every issue. There's a sense that it has more editorial freedom than magazines in the interior, but since it is sold at mainland newsstands, it still is subject to review by the censors.
Xinmin Weekly (新民周刊)
Worldview (看世界)
Modern Media Group (现代传播集团)
Modern Weekly (周末画报) ¥5
This is the grand-daddy of lifestyle weeklies. Published out of Guangzhou, it set the trend of putting out one magazine in several separately-bound sections - for news, life, finance, and urban fashion - that is now followed by BQ and The Bund in Beijing and Shanghai, respectively.
Modern Media also publishes The Outlook Magazine (新视线), City Magazine (号外) (HK), and City Magazine (生活) (mainland).
TrendsMag (《时尚》杂志社)
FHM (男人装)
Esquire (时尚·ESQUIRE)
The group also publishes Bazaar, National Geographic Traveler, Men's Health, Good Housekeeping, etc.
Southern Media Group (南方报业传媒集团)
Ma(n)gazine (名牌)
"mangazine·名牌 is the only fashion magazine in China whose target readers are no one but highclass men in the society. It aims to start a elite time and define the elite class in China."
City Pictorial (城市画报)
Southern Metropolis Weekly (南都周刊) ¥2
A new lifestyle and entertainment magazine launched March 2006 out of the ashes of an old sports magazine. The writing is snappy and online affairs (blogs and other Internet media) are covered heavily. Two issues a week - Entertainment on Wednesday, and Life on Friday.
Southern Media Group also publishes the news magazineSouthern People Weekly (above) and several newspapers.
Glamour Group (风尚传媒)
Men's Style (魅力先生)
Figure (健体风尚)
(Check out the CD they're giving away with this one!
Glamour (魅力风尚)
These are gay or highly metrosexual magazines; the pages linked above are pretty much empty — use the publisher's front page for more information.
WomanFriend (女友)
Popular series of girly-girl magazines. Launched as "WomanFriend" in 1988, it's grown to three main editions on the mainland:
Cute (女友校园版)
Style (女友花园版)
college edition
Love (女友家园版)
home edition
Other editions:
Man (男友): Appears to be defunct
The Group has also expanded internationally, with editions in Australia, North America, Southeast Asia, and Europe
Other media entities
Vogue China
Produced by Condé Nast in cooperation with the state-owned China Pictorial Publishing House
mENbox (时尚君子)
Occasionally daring gay magazine.
Gentlemen (君子风尚)
No website.
Rayli (瑞丽)
Fashion magazine empire, flagship publication Rayli is probably the Chinese glossy magazine with the highest circulation nationwide.
ViVi (昕薇)
Voyage (New Traveler) (新旅行)
Celebrities and Entertainment
Touch (TOUCH双休日潮流周刊)
No web presence
Banana (演艺周刊)
Tabloid / celebrity gossip weekly; no online presence at the moment.
Mainland Chinese version of the international trash magazine.
Big Star (明星·BIGSTAR)
Paparazzi photos and gossip every Friday. It's divided into two sections, "Hot!" (tagline: "Entertainment gossip stops here") and "Top!" (tagline: "Live like a star") whose pages are numbered separately.
Titan Sports (体坛周报)
China's most successful sports bi-weekly newspaper. It started off as a photocopied football fanzine in the 1990s, distributed for free in Changsha, capital of the Central Southern province of Hunan. In a few years, riding the wave of the growing interest towards football and sports in general, Titan Sports became the number 1 publication for sports and one of the best-selling newspapers in the entire country. It's jointly published by the Hunan Art and Culture Publishing House (湖南文艺出版社) and Titan Publishing House (体坛出版社).
Sports Weekly(足球周刊)
A glossy, highly successful magazine entirely dedicated to football, produced by the Titan Sports Group. It is one of China's best magazines in terms of quality of content, pictures and design. It boasts a collaboration with the prestigious France Football magazine.
China Central Televison (中央电视台)
  • Channel 1: General News. This channel produces the main evening news broadcast, and usually has the first run of serious, patriotic TV series.
  • Channel 2: Business.
  • Channel 3: Arts.
  • Channel 4: International (Chinese language)
  • Channel 5: Sports
  • Channel 6: Movies
  • Channel 7: Military and Agriculture (runs kids' programs during the afternoon)
  • Channel 8: Dramatic series
  • Channel 9: International (English propaganda)
  • Channel 10: Education
  • Channel 11: Peking Opera
  • Channel 12: Society and Law
  • In addition to the numbered channels, there are also:
    • 24-hour news
    • Children's channel
    • Music
    • French and Spanish - dubbed rebroadcasts of CCTV 4 and 9
Other stations
Phoenix TV and Phoenix News & Finance (凤凰卫视/凤凰资讯)
Mandarin language broadcasts out of Hong Kong. Program guide is available.
StarTV (星空卫视)
Product of Rupert Murdoch's Asia arm, Star Group Ltd. Runs shameless knockoffs of western TV, crass humor shows from Taiwan, and old Hong Kong movies.
SunTV (阳光卫视)
Reworked History channel programming, panel discussions from Chinese intellectuals, and infomercials. Not so widely available.
Channel V
Music videos.
Chinese Media Resources
A directory of print magazines with images of the current issue
a directory of print publications with a useful function that allows you to look up a Chinese publication license and find out what magazine is using it

Government regulatory bodies

Reporting directly to the State Council
State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT)
SARFT regulates broadcast media and films and sometimes has a say in the control of other types of news media. SARFT recently published regulations requiring all online video to be subject to SARFT approval; these rules in the wake of SARFT's successful monopolization of control of IP TV and other forms of Internet based transmission of moving images.
Reporting directly to SARFT
China Central Television (CCTV) CCTV is the nation's largest broadcaster operating 16 terrestrial channels. In addition to broadcasting, CCTV sometimes participates in regulation of the TV industry.
The General Administration of Press and and Publications (GAPP)
GAPP controls print publications and the distribution of news to both print and Internet publications. GAPP is the body that approves publication licenses for periodicals and books. News regulation is often done in concert with SARFT, the Publicity Department, the State Council Information Office and Xinhua.
Ministry of the Information Industry (MII)
MII was established in the late 1990s to oversee the telecommunications, Internet, digital communications and IT industries. MII's remit includes both technology and content. MII issues ICP (Internet Content Provision) licenses, the online equivalent of publication licenses.
Ministry of Culture
The Ministry of Culture controls live performances (music, theater etc.) and has a say in any aspect of media that can be considered relevant to culture, whether it be content of films and TV programs or language issues.
Information Office of the State Council
The Information Office of the State Council can best be understood as the State Council equivalent to the Publicity Department which reports to the Party Central Committee (see below). While not normally involved in media regulation, the Information Office of the State Council has influence on on MII, GAPP and SARF in addition to it's propaganda role.
Xinhua News Agency
Xinhua is a news agency and wire service that has been slowly changing from a propaganda machine into something resembling a Chinese version of Reuters. However, Xinhua also has a regulatory function and can work in concert with GAPP or autonomously.
Reporting directly to the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China
Publicity Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (Publicity Department, formerly Propaganda Department)
The Publicity Department is responsible for ensuring that the news and information environment in China is in accordance with the Party's wishes. The Publicity Department does not usually have regulatory powers over media in China, but can step in when news or events of concern to the Party happen.

China Media Timeline
Major media events over the last three decades
Danwei Model Workers
The latest recommended blogs and new media
From 2008
Front Page of the Day
A different newspaper every weekday
From the Vault
Classic Danwei posts
+ Culture and corporate propaganda in Soho Xiaobao (2007.11): Mid-2007 issues of Soho Xiaobao (SOHO小报), illustrating the complicated identity of in-house magazines run by real estate companies.
+ Internet executives complain about excessive Net censorship (2010.03): Internet executives complain about excessive Net censorship at an officially sanctioned meeting in Shenzhen.
+ Crowd-sourced cheating on the 2010 gaokao (2010.06): A student in Sichuan seeks help with the ancient Chinese section of this year's college entrance exam -- while the test is going on!
Danwei Archives