People's Daily

The People's Daily (Chinese: 人民日報, Renmin Ribao) is the largest newspaper group in China. The paper is an official newspaper of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, published worldwide with a circulation of 3 million. In addition to its main Chinese-language edition, it has editions in English, Spanish, Japanese, French, Russian, Portuguese, Arabic, Tibetan, Kazakh, Uyghur, Zhuang, Mongolian, and other minority languages in China. The newspaper provides direct information on the policies and viewpoints of the Communist Party.

People's Daily
Front page on 1 October 1949
(the day the PRC was established)
TypeDaily newspaper
Owner(s)Central Committee of the Communist Party of China
PublisherCentral Committee of the Communist Party of China
Founded15 June 1948 (1948-06-15)
Political alignmentCommunist Party of China
LanguageChinese and others
HeadquartersNo. 2 Jintai Xilu, Chaoyang District, Beijing
Circulation3 million[1]
People's Daily
Simplified Chinese人民日报
Traditional Chinese人民日報


The paper was established on 15 June 1948 and was published in Pingshan, Hebei, until its offices were moved to Beijing in March 1949. Ever since its founding, the People's Daily has been under direct control of the Party's top leadership. Deng Tuo and Wu Lengxi served as editor-in-chief from 1948–1958 and 1958–1966, respectively, but the paper was in fact controlled by Mao's personal secretary Hu Qiaomu.

During the Cultural Revolution, the People's Daily was one of the few sources of information from which either foreigners or Chinese could figure out what the Chinese government was doing or planning to do. During this period, an editorial in the People's Daily would be considered an authoritative statement of government policy, was studied and reproduced nationwide, and analyzed globally for insight into the Party's plans. The most important editorials were jointly published by People's Daily, People's Liberation Army Daily and Red Flag, from 1967 to 1978, so called "Two newspapers and one journal" (两报一刊), directly representing the highest voice of Chinese Communist Party.[2]

Newspaper articles in the People's Daily are often not read for content so much as placement. A large number of articles devoted to a political figure or idea is often taken as a sign that the mentioned official or subject is rising. Likewise with articles on geographical areas foreign or domestic; recently increased interest in Latin America has been shown.

Editorials in the People's Daily are regarded both by foreign observers and Chinese readers as authoritative statements of official government policy, and are therefore studied with care. Distinction is made between editorials, commentaries, and opinions. Although all must be government approved, they differ sharply on the amount of official authoritativeness they contain by design – from the top. For example, although an opinion piece is unlikely to contain views opposed to those of the government, it may express a viewpoint, or it may contain a debate that is under consideration and reflect only the opinions of the writer: an editorial trial balloon to assess internal public opinion. By contrast, an official editorial, which is rather infrequent, means that the government has reached a final decision on an issue.

During the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989, the People's Daily editorial of 26 April, which condemned "unlawful parades and demonstrations," marked a significant moment in the newspaper's history.[3] The editorial increased tension between the government and protesters, and top CPC leaders argued about whether to revise it. An article that compiles the most important editorials was released by the People's Daily during the student movement.

Since the mid-1990s, the People's Daily has faced a decline of governmental subsidies combined with increasing competition from international news sources and Chinese tabloids. As part of its effort to modernize, it began an online edition in 1997, and the web bulletin forums, such as the Strengthening Nation Forum in the Chinese edition, has been known for their surprisingly candid content.

An analysis of the wording of all the issues of the People's Daily from 1995 to 2000 was used in the writing of The First Series of Standardized Forms of Words with Non-standardized Variant Forms.[4]:3

The People's Daily is also responsible for the publication Global Times,[5] and hosts the Strengthening Nation Forum on its website.[6]

Online version

The People's Daily also maintains a multilingual internet presence; and established the People's Daily Online (人民网) in 1997.[7]

The internet website of People's Daily includes pages in Arabic, French, Russian, Spanish, Japanese and English. In comparison to the original Chinese version, the foreign language version offer less in-depth discussion of domestic policies and affairs and more editorial about China's foreign policies and motives, often explaining China's positive intentions.[8]

In 2014 the news paper launched a Chinese language application which was followed on October 15, 2017 by an English language version.[9]

Overseas media platforms

People's Daily in recent years has been expanding its publicity on the overseas social media platforms. It has tens of millions followers on its Facebook page, Twitter account, Instagram account, and YouTube account. However, an unusually high proportion of its followers are virtually inactive and likely to be fake users, according to the study of Committee to Protect Journalists.[10]

There have been calls for the People's Daily to register as a foreign agent under the Foreign Agents Registration Act in US.[11]

List of presidents

See also


  1. "About us". People's Daily Online. Retrieved 12 July 2017.
  2. “两报一刊社论”两次泄露中共最大机密. (in Chinese). 28 April 2011.
  3. "April 26 Editorial". 26 April 1989. Retrieved 10 May 2012.
  4. 国家语言文字工作委员会 (20 April 2016). 第一批异形词整理表(试行) (in Chinese). Retrieved 21 November 2017.
  5. Tania Branigan in Beijing (20 April 2009). "Guardian Article". Guardian Article. Retrieved 10 May 2012.
  6. "Strengthening Nation Forum". People's Daily. 27 June 2008. Retrieved 10 May 2012.
  7. "A Loyal Customer: People's Daily and Beijing". Wall Street Journal. 10 January 2012.
  8. Chinese and English versions of China's leading news portals – Two styles of journalism, Thinking Chinese, August 2011.
  9. Chen, Liubing (陈柳兵) (15 October 2017). "People's Daily expands reach with English-language news app – China –". Retrieved 14 June 2018.
  10. Christian Shepherd.(2015-11-23).Twitter tally at People’s Daily does not add up, say researchers. Financial Times.
  11. "U.S. panel accuses Chinese journalists of spying for Beijing". CNN Money. 16 November 2017.

Further reading

  • Merrill, John C. and Harold A. Fisher. The world's great dailies: profiles of fifty newspapers (1980) pp 264–72
  • Wu Guoguang. "Command Communication: The Politics of Editorial Formulation in the People's Daily". China Quarterly 137:194–211.
  • 人民日报基本情况 [Basic facts about the People's Daily]. People's Daily (in Chinese). 14 May 2003.
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