Shanghai United Media Group (SUMG) was created in 2013 through the merger of Jiefang Daily Press Group and Wenhui–Xinmin United Press Group, the two largest publishers in Shanghai. The group’s main newspapers are Jiefang Daily, Xinmin Evening News, Wenhui Bao, Shanghai Daily, Xinmin Weekly, Wenhui Book Review and others.
State Media Matrix Typology: State-Controlled (SC)
Ownership and governance
SUMG is controlled by the Shanghai local government, according to information from local experts and journalists interviewed for this report. Namely, the company is accountable to the Chinese Communist Party Committee in Shanghai.
Source of funding and budget
There is no publicly available information about the revenues of SUMG. According to local experts and journalists, the media outlets run by SUMG generate money from advertising, but the bulk of their income is awarded to them by the Shanghai government.
Local journalists and experts indicate that the media run by SUMG follow strict editorial rules imposed on them by the local government and the local Commnist Party branch in Shanghai (the CPC Shanghai Municipal Committee). Of all the media owned by SUMG, only The Paper, an online magazine that is trying to attract young followers, is allowed some liberty to run investigative pieces that are not under the strict control of the censorship bureaus. In spite of that, the SUMG clearly qualifies as a state controlled media company as the local party structures exert full control over SUMG’s editorial agenda.
There is no statute and no independent assessment/oversight mechanism to validate the independence of the media outlets run by SUMG.