Shanghai Media Group (SMG) is one of China’s largest state-owned media and entertainment groups, with assets that include radio and television networks, newspapers and magazines, drama production and distribution companies, streaming firms, e-commerce, tourism and more. The company was established in 2001 through the merger between the People’s Radio Station of Shanghai, East Radio Shanghai, Shanghai City Television and Oriental Television. The company also owns Yicai Media Group, a financial arm that runs a television channel and print publications.

Media assets

Television: Dragon Television, Shanghai Television, China Business Network, Great Sports, Docu TV, International Channel Shanghai, Oriental CJ, Haha Toonmax;

Radio: Shanghai News Radio, Shanghai Jiaotong Guangbo, Dong Guang Xinwen Tai, Dong Fang Dushi Guangbo, Popular Music, Love Music, Classical 94.7, Story Channel, Marine Channel, Sports Channel, Western Pop Music;

Conglomerate: Yicai Media Group (Television: Yicai TV; Print: China Business News, CBN Weekly)

Ownership and governance

SMG is a corporation owned by the Shanghai municipality. The company is registered as a state-owned limited liability company, according to local sources. In 2015, the online retail giant Alibaba bought a minority stake in the SMG’s financial arm.

Source of funding & budget

As one of the largest media conglomerates in China, SMG generates most of its revenues through advertising and other commercial revenues. According to the latest data available, a portion of 85% of the total revenues of SMG comes from advertising.

Editorial independence

Although SMG is commercially driven, its media are under tight editorial control of the government. They have to follow editorial directives imposed by the Chinese state propaganda organizations and their programs must be approved before being aired by the General Administration of Press and Publication.

There is no statute and no independent assessment/oversight mechanism to validate the independence of  the media outlets run by SMG.

July 2022

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