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Domestic firms gaining more international attention

Zou Shuo/Gao Boyang
Updated: Jan 26,2018 10:36 AM     China Daily

Companies in China received more attention from international media in 2017, as English-language media operating in the country increased their coverage of businesses, according to a report on the country’s international influence in the media published on Jan 24.

Among the country’s enterprises, tech giant Huawei Investment & Holding Co Ltd took the top spot in attracting media coverage from Google News, Facebook and YouTube last year, while Lenovo Group Ltd ranked No 1 for reports on Twitter, Instagram and Wikipedia, said the rankings released by the National Center for Communication Innovation Studies at Communication University of China.

Cutting-edge topics such as digitalization, automation and artificial intelligence were widely reported by international media outlets last year. Other highlighted terms include “largest”, “State-owned” and “industrial”.

Chinese English-language media’s coverage of Chinese enterprises grew significantly last year, the report said. In a ranking of the number of media reports on Chinese companies, China Daily ranked No 4, up from No 15 in 2016, with its total coverage surging three times.

Zhong Xin, an international journalism and communication professor at Renmin University of China, said the increasing attention was due to the rise in Chinese businesses’ overall strength, especially their ability to produce cutting-edge innovation.

“Artificial intelligence and driverless vehicles from Baidu, and Alibaba’s online payment system, for example, are very newsworthy topics,” Zhong said.

The number of patent filings in China increased 14.2 percent year-on-year to 1.38 million in 2017. About 327,000 invention patents were granted to domestic companies and individuals in the same year, up 8.3 percent, according to the State Intellectual Property Office, indicating an increased focus on innovation.

Chinese firms grabbed an unprecedented 115 places on the Fortune Global 500 list in 2017, with the number of Chinese firms making the list increasing for 14 consecutive years. China State Grid Corp, the country’s largest grid operator, and oil behemoth China Petroleum & Chemical Corp ranked No 2 and No 3 on the list, respectively, with their revenue reaching $315 billion and $268 billion in 2016.

China’s entering into a new era proves the validity and rationality of its development path, showing confidence in its path, theories, institutions and culture, said Liu Xin, China Global Television Network host at a forum hosted by China Daily recently.

“It consolidates reporters’ confidence in telling fantastic Chinese stories based on China’s successful practices,” Liu said.

“Our role is not to oversell Chinese wisdom; our responsibility is to document and explain that journey and let history be our judges,” she said.

The report also ranked Chinese cities in terms of international media coverage. Beijing overtook Shanghai, followed by Hong Kong and Macao.