China is in the midst of a massive rollout of a national digital media strategy with the backing of President Donald Trump, the country’s top official said on Wednesday.
“I believe this will be a huge step forward in China’s digital revolution, with a new national digital channel launching in 2018 and reaching more than 10 million people,” Li Baodong, the head of the Ministry of State Security, told reporters at a conference.
The move comes amid increasing tensions in the world’s second-largest economy, with Trump accusing Beijing of manipulating its currency to benefit its economic rivals.
The move will help China’s media industry to gain more market share in the wake of a wave of US economic sanctions in recent years.
“The launch of the national digital platform will help build the digital infrastructure for Chinese people to receive news, information, entertainment, and other media on a broad scale,” Li said.
Li’s remarks came a day after he announced a $50m fund to launch a new digital media venture with the US president, who has been outspoken in his support for China’s policies in the region.
The new channel, called the China Digital Media Development Fund, will be the biggest single investment in Chinese media in history, the president’s office said in a statement.
It will launch in 2018, with $5m allocated to the fund, a Chinese state media outlet said.
The $50 million will be divided among Chinese media companies and the government to “make sure that the development of Chinese news and information platform is made more transparent, equitable and responsive to the people”, the statement said.
More:The fund, which will have a total value of $30m, will help to finance the launch of an online portal for Chinese citizens, an online platform for Chinese media, and a new channel for Chinese broadcasters.
The White House has not commented on the fund announcement.