Media Moves

China's financial news rules face challenge

March 3, 2008

The European Union launched a formal case at the World Trade Organization against China over its rules governing foreign financial-news organizations and the U.S. was expected to make a similar complaint later Monday, write Rebecca Blumenstein and Jason Dean of The Wall Street Journal.

ChinaBlumenstein and Dean wrote, “China issued new rules in September 2006 that required Reuters Group PLC, Bloomberg LP, Dow Jones & Co. and other foreign financial-information companies to sell their products through the China Economic Information Service, an agency appointed by Xinhua. The move essentially negated a painstakingly negotiated deal from a decade earlier between U.S. and Chinese officials that opened the Chinese market to foreign financial-information companies.

“The global trade body says it has received an official submission from the 27-nation EU over the rules. The U.S. is expected to make a similar complaint later Monday. The EU’s request initiates a 60-day consultation period. If the talks fail, the case would go to the WTO dispute body.

“The decision to bring the case to the WTO shows the U.S. and EU seek to elevate negotiations to a government level after months of deliberations at the commercial level between Xinhua and the organizations most affected by the move. Since the regulations were issued, all the news organizations have been operating without a license in China, according to people familiar with the situation.”

Read more here.

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