China taking its cut of information sales

Jocelyn Ford Sep 11, 2006


SCOTT JAGOW: Over the weekend, China came out with a new policy about foreign wire services. From now on, folks like the Associated Press will have to go through China’s state-run news agency, Xinhua. Jocelyn Ford has more.

JOCELYN FORD: The new rules are less about censorship, than about making money.

Media researcher Kristian Kender says Xinhua news agency sees China’s integration into the global financial market as a potential goldmine.

KRISTIAN KENDER:“It’s a government agency that looked at something and said ‘if we control the whole thing. We’ll make so much money!’ You know, it’s kind of a market grab.”

Kender says once before China tried to restrict financial information companies, like Bloomberg and Reuters, from selling here.

But Chinese bankers, who always want the fastest information at the cheapest price, caused an uproar.

KENDER:“You know, they’ll have to pay more. What, you think like they’re gonna lower the price?”

So the first time round, Kender says the rules were relaxed. He says it’s too early to tell whether this time the regulations will take hold.

In Beijing, I’m Jocelyn Ford for Marketplace.

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