The report shows how China Daily, whose obedience to the Chinese regime is well known, invested $ 19 million in numerous media outlets around the world from November 2016 to April 2020. Among those that stand out, we have large American publications such as Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post (over $ 4.7 million) and The Wall Street Journal ($ 6 million). Just as it put money in the accounts of these publications, the Chinese Communist Party also invested money in the largest media outlets in Brazil —curiously enough, the ones involved in the transactions, are the ones that attack President Jair Bolsonaro the most.
The document contains expenses covered for Company Folha da Manhã S.A. a newspaper whose owner, Grupo Folha, merged it with Folha de São Paulo. The expenses assumed by the CCP for the Folha —a newspaper with national circulation— are those of printing and amount to $ 405K (around R $ 2.16 million). As for Grupo Globo, owner of Infoglobo and Editora Globo, it received $ 148,120 (793,182 reais) for advertisement, followed by Correio Braziliense, which received over $ 15,000 (over R $ 80 thousand) for printing expenses.
The document with this information is given in the context of the Foreign Agents Act of the US to agents who represent foreign interests in a “political or quasi-political capacity.” The purpose of this Act is to “facilitate the evaluation by the US government and people of the statements and activities of these individuals.”
Globo and Folha in Brazil
These are not the only ties that interweave the interests of the Communist Party of China with the Brazilian mainstream media, which have seen a sustained decline since the arrival of Jair Bolsonaro to the presidency.
In 2019, Grupo Globo signed a memorandum of cooperation with the Beijing state communications company China Media Group. According to a press release on the CMG website, “the two parties will unite in films, television dramas, sports, entertainment, and 5G technology applications.”
Shen Haixhong, the CEO of the communication conglomerate belonging to the Chinese regime, stressed that CMG together with Grupo Globo and based on the exchange of news sources, will further explore a cooperation on programs, co-production and applications of 4K/8K and 5G technology.
This is one of the elements that further consolidates Grupo Globo‘s position against Bolsonaro. Their opposition to the president of Brazil began when the then-candidate assured that he will cut the subsidy to the channel —a cut that he managed to make by 60%.
Rede Globo (Grupo Globo‘s channel, the biggest in Brazil) is also being investigated by the Administrative Council for Economic Defense of the Ministry of Justice, in charge of preventing and investigating the abuse of economic power. The investigation was initiated after Globo was accused of practicing a monopoly on the broadcasting rights for soccer games, one of the most important entertainment businesses in the country.
The Folha has also been an important factor against Bolsonaro since the president ordered the cancellation of all Folha subscriptions of the Federal Government. The journal has even published texts such as “Why do I want Bolsonaro to die?”
Grupo Globo and Folha have served as great enemies of Bolsonaro and with these recent data that reveal a direct link with the Chinese Communist Party, they formalize their role as dependent on foreign interests and strangers to the interests of Brazil.
Without a Foreign Agents Act, Brazil does not have any mechanism to protect itself from power factors and structures disguised as media outlets or social agents that are, in reality, defending the interests of foreign powers that work against Brazil, such as China.