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Sept. 16, 2013, 1:37 p.m.

In The Globe and Mail, Geoffrey York has a piece on China’s expansion into African media:

When one of South Africa’s biggest newspaper chains was sold last month, an odd name was buried in the list of new owners: China International Television Corp.

A major stake in a South African newspaper group might seem an unusual acquisition for Chinese state television, but it was no mystery to anyone who has watched the rapid expansion of China’s media empire across Africa.

From newspapers and magazines to satellite television and radio stations, China is investing heavily in African media. It’s part of a long-term campaign to bolster Beijing’s “soft power” – not just through diplomacy, but also through foreign aid, business links, scholarships, training programs, academic institutes and the media.

We’ve written a lot in recent years about the business opportunities available to American media for global expansion: The New York Times launching non-English language digital editions and rebranding the International Herald Tribune, The Wall Street Journal’s continued growth overseas, and so on. But the flows can just as easily run in the other direction, in ways that go beyond Carlos Slim lending the Times Co. cash or Al Jazeera America.

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