China Central Television (CCTV) has confirmed it will launch a new global media platform in a bid to renew China’s image overseas.

The new entity, named China Global Television Network (CGTV) will be multilingual and multiplatform. It will comprise of six TV channels, a video newsletter agency, a new media agency and a digital media division. CCTV already has channels in English, Arabic, Spanish, French and Russian and two production houses in Washington and Nairobi.

The initiative has been described by media outlets as an example of a ‘soft power’ tactic by China to better shape the country’s branding strategy and market it to the rest of the world. Earlier in 2016, President Xi Jinping said that China needed to become more influential internationally and make its voice heard especially as, according the government, Western media holds the monopoly on international news.

“The relationship  between China and the rest of the world is undergoing historic changes. China needs to know better about the world and the world needs to know better about China,” said President Xi Jinping in a congratulatory letter to the broadcaster. “Tell China’s story well,” he continued. “Spread China’s story well, let the world know a three-dimensional, colourful China, and showcase China’s role as a builder of world peace.”

The channel will then predominantly focus on prioritising news, highlighting stories on China’s development and contribution to the world, global affairs and international issues. The platform will work with an aim “to integrate resources and to adapt to the trend of media convergence,” the broadcast group said.

Liu Yunshan, member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, said new digital technologies and media integration should be the core of the new media brand.

The launch was planned for New Year’s Day.

Header image: CCTV Building, Beijing China. Credits: Kevin Poh/Creative Commons