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News In Brief

Chinese news agency hits Times Square

Kai Ryssdal Aug 1, 2011

Just ’cause there’s not enough news and information in the world, we take you to Times Square for our final note today. There are some new lights on Broadway. Nothing to do with a new musical. A 60-foot-high electronic billboard is running ads for the Xinhua News Agency.

The Chinese state-run news service is trying to build its brand and an American audience. We asked some passersby that they thought.

Peter Pouchli: Wow, it seems like some travel agency? Or some human rights in China?

Veronica Spedaliere: It also raises a question for me as to what, the news that’s going to be on there, is it what they want you to hear? As opposed to what’s actually happening?

Al Chokshi: It’s so interesting the Chinese News Agency has rented space in Times Square. Shows how the world is changing.

Adding irony to irony, the Xinhua ads replace a long-running spot for the British bank HSBC, which announced 30,000 worldwide layoffs today.

Photo credit: A new electronic billboard leased by Xinhua, the news agency operated by the Chinese government, makes its debut Aug. 1, 2011 in New York’s Times Square. (STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)

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