Freedom House report on Beijing’s Global Media Influence: cyber aspects

Freedom House report: Beijing’s Global Media Influence: Authoritarian Expansion and the Power of Democratic Resilience, showed Beijing’s efforts to influence media in democracies and their response. According to Freedom House, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) employs a variety of tactics, including mass distribution of state-produced content, harassment and intimidation of local media outlets, targeted disinformation, and the use of cyberbullying and fake social media accounts.

Since 2019, more aggressive activities such as targeted harassment of individual reporters, cyberbullying, and cyberattacks against stigmatised media organisations have spread to 24 of the 30 countries under investigation in some form. As of 2019 as well, news outlets or journalists from 7 countries have been targeted by cyberattacks that could be traced back to China. These cyberattacks increase the financial burden on media outlets to improve their defences, and data theft hacking could endanger journalists and their sources.

Nigeria has been identified as the country most vulnerable to Beijing’s media influence campaigns.