China censorship moves from politics to economics

Washington’s latest tariffs on $200bn of Chinese exports dominated business news across much of the world. But in China, readers of domestic news websites saw very different headlines — internet companies Tencent and Baidu led with stories of how the Communist party, “with Xi Jinping at its core”, was developing Ningxia, a backwater in China’s north-west.

As China’s economic growth slows and a trade war with the US damages consumer sentiment and the stock market, Beijing is further tightening controls on domestic media. The ruling party has for decades relied on a strong economy as a key source of its legitimacy, and in harder times economic news is increasingly subject to the same kind of censorship as politics.

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