Monday, July 31, 2006

People's Bank of China blamed a business newspaper

It is rare for a Chinese government agency to blame a Chinese newspaper. But today I saw it(the link to the central bank's statement in Chinese) The annoucement said the central bank strongly blame the July 27 report on China Business News saying China could acommodate the yuan to increase by 5 percent in a year. The paper quoted an expert saying that China may first step increase 2 percent or 3 percent, and finally make a 5 percent rise. The central bank spokeman said the paper didn't check the accurancy of the sources properly.

The last sentence is the central bank strongly condemn this non-responsible operation of the paper.

Say first, currency is always the most important or sensitive topic for the central government. I still remember some foreign reporters were jailed due to reports on currencies. This time, it is about a Shanghai-based paper belonging to Shanghai Media Group, the second-largest media corp after CCTV. Unfortunately, the paper itself didn't live well these days as the group wants to sell it, though it reported a lot of interesting stories. As the first daily business newspaper in the mainland, it lacks a strong group to back up.

Behind the currency topis, I see the different situation for official media and non-official media to live in the current time. Foreign media always call all the mainland media official ones; in fact, it isn't true. For some of them such as China Business News and 21st century Herald, they are living on themselves, depending on good stories instead of government ties to survive. It is hard in terms of both revenue and reputation. Say how Central bank blames China Business News, you will know the difference. But it is those papers or media trying to bring fair business environment in China. Free media will help setting up a fair, transparent and stable securities market. Have a look at Hong Kong where media is free to say everything. It is hard to try in the current Chinese market, but someone trying now will become the hero.

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