The People’s Daily (Rénmín Rìbào) is the largest newspaper publisher in China. The paper has a circulation of three million copies worldwide. It publishes in Chinese as well as in more than a dozen foreign languages.

Media assets

Publishing: People’s Daily (Renmin Ribao), People’s Daily Oveseas Edition, People’s Daily Tibetan Edition, Global Times

State Media Matrix Typology: State-Controlled (SC)

Ownership and governance

People’s Daily is the official newspaper of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China. The newspaper’s main mission is to disseminate information about the policies of the Chinese Communist Party. Its management is directly named by the party.

Source of funding and budget

People’s Daily generates funding from advertising, but also receives a significant subsidy from the Chinese government, according to local journalists and experts. The People’s Daily does not release detailed financial information. According to local journalists knowledgeable about the newspaper’s operations, People’s Daily had revenues of CNY 2.2bn (US$ 345m) from its online operation in 2021. It had a total income of CNY 12.1bn (US$ 1.9bn) in 2021. The company’s shares are also listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange.

Editorial independence

The People’s Daily is a propaganda channel that follows the editorial line imposed by its owner, the Chinese Communist Party. The newspaper employs so-called “writing task groups” that highlight in their pieces the official views of the party. Various sources indicate that among all the Chinese state-controlled media, The People’s Daily is one that enjoys a certain level of freedom in its editorial coverage.

There is no statute and no independent assessment/oversight mechanism to validate the independence of The People’s Daily, which is an official publication of the Chinese Communist Party.

October 2023