China's CCTV launches global 'soft power' media network to extend influence

A view shows the China Central Television (CCTV) building and the Central Business District (CBD) area on a sunny day on December 2, 2015, after a fresh cold front cleared the smog that was blanketing Beijing, China. REUTERS/Stringer

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China Central Television (CCTV), Beijing’s largest TV network, said it would launch a new global media platform on New Year’s Day to help re-brand China overseas.

The new multilingual operation will have six TV channels and a new media agency, the network said on its website on Friday night. Its CCTV News channel will be rebranded the China Global Television Network, it added.

China has launched a number of “soft power” initiatives to expand its influence abroad, including other English-language media outlets.

Chinese President Xi Jinping urged the new network to “tell China stories well,” the official Xinhua news agency reported on Saturday.

Reporting by Engen Tham in Shanghai and Ryan Woo in Beijing; Editing by Eric Meijer