ABC shuts China propaganda website

Some more house cleaning today for the government on the troubled China relationship:

The ABC is moving to shut down a website that has been criticised for complying with Beijing’s censorship requirements and running soft stories on the Australia-China relationship.

The Australian has confirmed the Australia Plus websites are set to be closed, including the Man­darin-language version of the site.

In 2015, the ABC partnered with Chinese media company the Shanghai Media Group to set up the China-focused version of the website, but since its establishment it has been the target of criticism over claims it removed content critical of China from news stories.

The website is visible to Chinese citizens, subject to the “great firewall”, and the move to close the site could mean the end of the deal with Shanghai Group.

The ABC is also reviewing its overseas broadcasting and recently surveyed audiences about their thoughts on a new overseas broadcasting channel, which may be to rebrand their Australia Plus TV Service.

In 2016, Media Watch reported that facts were removed from a ­report on the australiaplus.cn site about a visit by Malcolm Turnbull to China.

It said critical stories available elsewhere on the ABC also were not translated for the australiaplus.cn site. At the time, academic John Fitzgerald also accused the ABC of selling out on its news values to get access to China

Not soon enough.

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