Chinese state news agency Xinhua may be taking up residence in Times Square alongside the likes of Thomson Reuters and Conde Nast, reports the Wall Street Journal.
According to Xinhua’s North America bureau chief, Zeng Hu, the agency is closing in on a deal to move into the top floor of a 44-story skyscraper at 1540 Broadway. The move would be an upgrade from the agency’s current headquarters in the Woodside area of Queens, New York.
The Journal calls the move “part of a broader push by China’s government to enhance its ‘soft power’ abroad by countering the dominance of Western news outlets and conveying a Chinese perspective on events.”
Xinhua, founded in the 1930s when China’s Communist Party was still a revolutionary organization, has made efforts in recent years to go beyond serving as a government mouthpiece. In China, it has made a push to compete with Reuters and Bloomberg LP as a provider of financial information.
But the news agency still draws controversy for bending the news of events like the ethnic riots in China last summer.
The news agency today launched CNC World, an English-language TV service which we will be broadcast around the world and focus on global news. Along with the agency’s potential move into Times Square, the launch represents China’s desire to strengthen its media influence abroad. The station will be part-funded by private investment.