It's a shame for English media to miss this interview in Chinese newspaper Southern Weekly.Liu Binjie, the director of General Administration of Press and Publication in China, said the state-owned media organization should be restructured in the way as banks did. This is a strong signale on an incoming big reform in China on media organizations, and also a sign that Chinese press and publishing industry have to reform in order to survive.
If people, can remember, Chinese banks did restructure itself a few years ago, while the big four already or are going to list in the stock exchange, making the organizations more transparent.
If what Liu said is true, the impact will be huge on the media industry. For example, the newspaper industry in China prints over 44 billion pieces of newspaper every year; if each piece costs an average 2 rmb, it's gonna be a US$12 billion industry just by selling newspaper, not to mention advertising and so on.
For the book publishing industry, Liu said it will legalize the private capital's role in the industry. This means the private capital can directly publish books in the future, which will make the book publishing market more efficient, and I expect more innovative content will be generated.
Liu also talked about the plan to set up three big media groups with annual revenue over $10 billion. This is an easy part, since right now there are already three including CCTV, SMG and Southern Daily Group. This may not be a good thing for a media start-up, but at least their operation will be more transparent when they are listed.
Hope emerges amid the global financial crisis.