China Daily in China targets mainly diplomats, foreign expats, tourists as well as locals wishing to improve their English. The China edition also offers program guides to Radio Beijing and television, daily exchange rates, and local entertainment schedules. It has been used as a guide to Chinese government policy. Scholar Falk Hartig describes the newspaper and its various international editions as an "instrument of China's public diplomacy."
China Daily's editorial policies have been described as slightly more liberal than other Chinese news outlets. The newspaper's coverage of the 2002-2004 SARS outbreak was reported to be more critical, fact-driven, and less laudatory than that of the People's Daily. A discourse analysis from Uppsala University found that prior to Xi Jinping's accession, many China Daily articles portrayed their government as a particular kind of democracy, with democratic ideals such as the implementation of universal suffrage (in Hong Kong) and grassroots elections sometimes endorsed. After his accession, articles became more negative in tone toward democracy and shifted focus to portraying the "vices" of democracies in the West, particularly the United States.
Scholars have described China Daily as effectively controlled by the Propaganda Department of the Chinese Communist Party. According to its 2014 annual report, China Daily is formally managed by the State Council Information Office (SCIO), which was formed from the Propaganda Department in 1991. The SCIO holds regular meetings with journalists and editors from China Daily on what they should publish. A former copy-editor (or "polisher" as termed at China Daily) for the newspaper described her role being "to tweak propaganda enough that it read as English, without inadvertently triggering war."
China Daily Group has 12 print publications, including the mainland, US, European, Asian and Hong Kong editions, and the 21st Century English Education Media.
Hong Kong edition
The China Daily Hong Kong Edition (traditional Chinese: ; simplified Chinese: ; pinyin: Zh?ngguó Rìbào Xi?ngg?ng B?n), has been published since 6 October 1997 and aims to report the policies and directions of the Chinese government, politics, economy, and social and cultural issues of both the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong. It is the only official English-language newspaper published by the Chinese government in Hong Kong and Macau.
China Daily Asia Weekly is a tabloid-sized pan-Asian edition of the China Daily. The 24 page newspaper launched on 9 December 2010 in Hong Kong. Zhou Li, editor-in-chief of China Daily Asia Weekly, told India's The Statesman: "Our long-term aspiration is to be a reference point on China and the rest of Asia for the region's readers."
China Daily European Weekly was launched in December 2010 and is published from London. It offers 32 pages of news and views from China and continental Europe each week and is distributed in over 23 countries. In 2011, it won the Launch Paper of the Year award presented by the UK's Association of Circulation Executives (ACE); and the International Media Award sponsored by the Plain English Campaign. In 2014, it won the International Newspaper of the Year at the Newspaper Awards. It is the only title within the China Daily portfolio of publications to have its circulation externally audited by the Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC), with a confirmed average weekly distribution of 92,547 copies for in the first half of 2014.
In December 2012, China Daily launched an Africa edition, published in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya. This edition is a way to expand the China Daily readership and boost China's interests in Africa, especially in mining and immigration policies, and prestige. In addition, the African edition is not only aimed at African people, but it is also addressed to Chinese people who live in Africa.
^Thurston, Anne F.; Turner-Gottschang, Karen; Reed, Linda A. (1994). China Bound: A Guide to Academic Life and Work in the PRC (Revised ed.). Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press. p. 38. doi:10.17226/2111. ISBN978-0-309-04932-0.
^Heuvel, Jon Vanden; Dennis, Everette E. (1993). The Unfolding Lotus: East Asia's Changing Media: A Report of the Freedom Forum Media Studies Center at Columbia University in the City of New York. The Center. p. 33. OCLC623928917.
^Liu, Lihua (1 February 2009). "Discourse construction of social power: interpersonal rhetoric in editorials of the China Daily". Discourse Studies. 11 (1): 59-78. doi:10.1177/1461445608098498. ISSN1461-4456.