BEIJING: In an effort to influence social media operations, China outsources social media work rather than paying individuals to post and promote the country’s government, local culture, and economic growth.
Jordan Schneider in ChinaTalk said that nearly two decades after China began mobilizing its “fifty cent army” to manipulate the Internet public conversation, actors involved in China’s online “opinion councils” have changed, heralding a new era of Chinese influence social media operations.
As China’s internet environment has rapidly evolved, there is a shift in the way local and central government bodies outsource the work of social media: rather than paying individuals to post and promote content as well as Other government tasks, local governments outsource social media influence work to private internet companies, which take over all of the agency’s social media operations for a set period of time.
Jordan Schneider also said that, according to an in-depth analysis of hundreds of Chinese government procurement documents, government agencies at all levels are increasingly hiring professional companies to take over their social media management and speech work. online – paying them to post positive stories about government, local culture, economic growth, or other quasi-political aspects of life in China.
To flesh out a picture of how the government pays private companies to run its propaganda work on Western social media, the author said he searched the Chinese government’s government procurement databases.
“I collected hundreds of procurement announcements related to overseas social media projects posted on the local and central government procurement network between 2013 and 2020,” Jordan Schneider said in ChinaTalk.
These contracts reflect a growing market in China’s Internet industry “the privatized propaganda sector.” The companies the Chinese government hires to carry out its propaganda work are a diverse mix of state-owned media giants, tech companies, publishers, videographers, and marketing firms. , according to ChinaTalk.
Chinese marketing firm Yiqilian, an official Facebook marketing partner, uses Facebook’s training and advertising resources to conduct government propaganda campaigns, according to the weekly analysis.
In a true paradigm shift from the “fifty-cent army” post-paid propaganda model, the adoption of “privatized propaganda” will allow for cohesive, market-driven innovation – and a toolkit. constantly evolving for online influence, he added.