Friday, May 01, 2009

China: Government Bans Foreign Financial News Operations

Here's the report from the Financial Times. Because, hey, nothing increases confidence like shutting off information:

China raised the spectre of renewed international trade friction over market access for foreign financial information providers as the government said such businesses must not engage in news gathering in China.

The surprise ban on this business area is seen by industry executives as backtracking on an agreement China reached with the US, the EU and Canada in November last year on allowing companies like Bloomberg, Dow Jones and Thomson Reuters to distribute information to financial and corporate clients.

. . . the US, the EU and Canada lodged a complaint against China at the World Trade Organisation earlier last year over Beijing’s move to make Xinhua, its official news agency and a competitor for the foreign providers in the financial information business, its de facto regulator.
Xinhua! That paragon of journalism. Pffft.

In regulations published on the cabinet’s website on Thursday, the government said foreign financial information providers would be allowed to set up businesses in China and would be regulated by the State Council Information Office.
Hey, how would you like your information to be "regulated" by an entity with a name like "State Council Information Office"? Is that like the Ministry of Truth? Just askin'.

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