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HN: Chinese Economic Daily seeks branch in Czech Republic

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Prague, Aug 16 (CTK) – Economic Daily, one of the largest state Chinese financial papers, announced its intention to open a branch in Prague at a meeting of the paper’s president Xu Rujun and the Czech Chamber of Commerce’s leadership last week, daily Hospodarske noviny (HN) writes yesterday.
Chamber of Commerce President Vladimir Dlouhy welcomes the activity of the Chinese paper. “Every similar initiative can boost a mutual information exchange and facilitate the position of Czech firms on the Chinese market,” Dlouhy said.
Economic Daily was founded in 1980 and it was officially launched three years later under the Chinese name Jing Ribao. It reported on the results and successes of the Chinese economy.
It also operates the China Economic Net web available in nine languages, including English, German, French, Russian and Arabic, HN writes.
Though the daily focuses mainly on the economy and related issues, it also has regular columns on lifestyle, entertainment, sport and fashion, HN says.
It is not clear yet whether Economic Daily would like to build a completely new editorial staff in the Czech Republic or buy some Czech paper and turn it into its branch, HN adds.
At present, the daily cooperates with the Czech-Chinese Chamber of Commerce that supports bilateral business activities. Its board chairman Jiri Schraml said the Chamber published ads in support of Czech firms in the daily.
HN writes that this will not be the first Chinese investment in the Czech media market.
In February, the CEFC China Energy Company Limited and the Czech media Medea Group struck a deal, HN adds.
Some critics warn of the interconnection between the Czech media scene and Chinese capital. They point to the Communist regime in China that applies media censorship and strictly controls the Internet use, HN writes.
One of the critics is American Porter Erisman, former vice-president of the Alibaba e-shop. In an interview with HN some time ago, he said Chinese investments should not be problematic in politically neutral branches, for instance, hotel industry and simple production plants, but it might by risky in the case of sensitive businesses, such as media and telecommunications.
The Western governments should take it into consideration whether such a step would not threaten their countries’ fundamental values, he added.

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