Chinese Communist Party mouthpiece gets hi-tech digital makeover with help from Baidu

June 12, 2018
Industry News
Content Provided By:


------------
Meng Jing
meng.jing@scmp.com

Official China media are playing catch-up to avoid being left behind by the social media technologies used by the country’s new internet titans

People’s Daily is seeking help from one of China’s artificial intelligence (AI) national champions to help ensure the ruling Communist Party’s mouthpiece remains relevant and top-of-mind in an era when user-generated videos and AI-driven news aggregation are becoming increasingly popular.

Baidu, China’s dominant search engine operator, will provide People’s Daily with an array of new technologies, such as AI-powered algorithms, to help the newspaper “explore new ways of building an online content ecosystem”, according to a release from the Beijing-based company’s official WeChat account.

People’s Daily launched its first news aggregator product officially on Monday, and as part of a strategic agreement with Baidu, the two will work on developing algorithms that can push the “right news content” to the newspaper’s core readers.

Powerful news apps, such as Jinri Toutiao run by Beijing ByteDance Technology and Tencent-backed Qutoutiao, have landed hundreds of millions of users in China by feeding them content based on their individual preferences, despite increased concern in recent months over data privacy and a crackdown by the Chinese government on content it deems vulgar or harmful to minors.

The AI-powered content model poses new challenges to China’s Communist Party, which under President Xi Jinping has pushed hard to ensure the public receives more messages from official propaganda outlets.

“In future, People’s Daily will gain more strength, using mainstream values to relieve the anxiety caused by traffic and algorithms, using social responsibility to regulate the content business … we’ll keep growing the positive energy online,” Lu Xinning, deputy editor-in-chief of People’s Daily, said in the release. Continue Reading

About South China Morning Post 

South China Morning Post is a leading global news company that has reported on China and Asia for more than a century. Founded in 1903, SCMP is headquartered in Hong Kong, where it is the city’s newspaper of record, with a growing correspondent staff across Asia and the United States.Its editorial teams are powered by emerging digital technologies to create innovative ways to tell Asia’s most important and compelling stories.

Against the backdrop of shifting discovery and consumption behaviours, SCMP reaches users across distributed media platforms including scmp.com, smartphone and tablet apps, social media and messaging platforms, as well as our flagship newspaper.  SCMP is also home to Abacus, a digital news brand focused on China's tech industry; and Inkstone, a daily news brief for those curious about China's growing impact around the world.
 

For further information, please contact us