English-language Media in China
If you don’t speak or read any Chinese, fret not. There are many options of English language news, radio, and television (as well as print publications) when living in China.
The world famous BBC World Service can be received on digital FM 90.2 and Satellite Hot Bird 2-13º East. For more information on receiving BBC World Service via satellite check out this handy guide here.
The main BBC station and other English language radio stations can also be received via satellite TV or over the Internet. Previously broadcast programs can often be listened to again or downloaded, but you’ll need a VPN routed through the UK if you wish to access most of the BBC iPlayer stuff online.
The Voice of America is the official government-owned broadcaster of the United States.
They produce programs in over 50 languages and broadcast around the globe via their websites, and you also catch their shows via satellite, cable and on FM, AM and shortwave frequencies - or online here.
With 30 correspondents dotted around the world, their 1,000 hours of news, educational, and cultural programs reach a global audience of 94 million people each and every week.
CRI (China Radio International) prides their English Service as one of their most important divisions.
With a focus primarily on news, reports and features with Chinese-language learning programs as well. In Beijing, the programs can be heard on 846AM and 1008AM or online via www.NewsPlusRadio.cn.
On the more music and theatre side of things, they also have their EZFM station available in most major cities including Beijing, Shanghai, Xiamen, Hefei, Lanzhou, Lhasa and Beijing.
Television in China is owned and operated by China Central Television (CCTV) under the control of the State Administration of Radio, Film, and Television. It broadcasts 22 terrestrial channels dedicated to news, entertainment, music and more. Most channels are Mandarin-only but there are news channels in English, French, Spanish, Arabic and Russian. In total there are over 3,000 local and specialized TV channels available in China.
Cable television is commonly used in Chinese cities, which includes the terrestrial CCTV channels, local channels, plus the option of other packages and channels being received. OCN is one of the biggest cable providers and has a selection of international channels, including movies, news and sports.
CCTV News is a terrestrial 24hr English-language news channel. Live news is broadcast on the hour. Other programs focus primarily on business, sports, culture and travel. CCTV-9 Documentary is a documentary channel with factual programming either in English or Mandarin with English subtitles.
Print & Online English Media in China
China Daily is the national state-controlled English language newspaper.
A print and digital version is published Monday to Friday, covering Chinese news, politics and current affairs. Chinese and English-language versions are available, as are numerous international versions, including American, African and European.
People’s Daily Online is a daily newspaper printed by the Communist Party covering both Chinese and international news.
Allegedly ranked by UNESCO as "one of the 10 most authorative and most influential newspapers of the world", the paper's global circulation figures sit somewhere between 3 to 4 million.
Alongside the English version, they also have editions in Spanish, Japanese, Russian, Mongolian, Korean, Tibetan, French and Arabic to name a handful.
Global Times is a daily tabloid newspaper, printed Monday to Saturday in both Chinese (1,500,000 copies) and English (200,000). It too is published by the Communist Party of China - under the auspices of the People's Daily brand - but covers, as the name would suggest, mainly international news.
Established in 1993, the English language version was launched in the first half of 2009 and within the space of a year they had also launched two local sections, Metro Beijing and Metro Shanghai.
Certainly a worthy and interesting read, and blatantly less biased than some of its competitors.