Chinese propaganda is being spread by local news services across Europe, report reveals

Flying the flag, Children hold Chinese flags as they pose for a photo at Tiananmen Square in Beijing,. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)
By Grzegorz Adamczyk
2 Min Read

Poland is among those countries listed as being affected by Chinese interventions in its media via the creation of local portals posing as news outlets while indulging in pro-Chinese propaganda, according to a report by CitizenLab researachers.

CitizenLab’s “Paperwall” report lists 123 internet services managed by the Chinese that are posing as local news portals in 30 countries in Europe, Asia, and Latin America. Two of these portals, and, are Polish language outlets. 

According to analysts, the sites publish actual news together with fake news peddling Chinese propaganda. They also indulge in personal attacks on critics of the Chinese government. The fake stories are often removed from the portal to hide the source of the propaganda, but not before they have been copied by other sources. 

The report claims that the campaign is being masterminded by Shenzhen Haimaiyunxiang Media Co., a Chinese PR company, and the content is chosen in cooperation with the “Times Newswire” agency, which works for Beijing and has been identified as a cybersecurity disinformation threat by the United States.

CitizenLab is an interdisciplinary research body of the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy at Toronto University. It became prominent in 2018 due to its investigation of Pegasus spyware being used in 45 countries. 

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