OLD Media Moves

China ends limits on biz news firms

November 13, 2008

John Miller and James Areddy of The Wall Street Journal report Thursday that China agreed to repeal a regulation requiring western news services to disclose sales data and other confidential information to a government-controlled Chinese competitor.

Miller and Areddy write, “Dow Jones, Bloomberg and Thomson Reuters all welcomed the change. The new rule will protect the media’s ‘freedom to deal directly with our financial information customers and protect our proprietary commercial information,’ Bloomberg said in a statement.

“The market for financial news and data has continued to grow as China’s financial markets have expanded. The main foreign providers of news and data say Xinhua has never had a role in their operations and hasn’t edited the content of their news reports.

“Over the past two years, European Union and U.S. officials complained frequently about the law to the Chinese ministry of commerce.

“In June 2007, Xinhua launched its own financial data service, Xinhua 08, offering data from 20 financial exchanges in China and abroad. Officials in Beijing said the law’s intent wasn’t to censor or restrict financial information or discriminate against Western media outlets. But the launch of the competing service was the last straw, EU officials said.”

Read more here. The United States and the European Union had filed a complaint against China with the World Trade Organization.

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