Internettet: Kinesiske medier bruger rygter til angreb på udenlandske virksomheder

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Erhverv / Medier

2013 12 05 11 04 51 am

Udenlandske virksomheder og brands kommer tit under beskydning i Kina. For eksempel Starbucks, Apple og mejeriet Fonterra. Det sker gennem kampagner, der for eksempel begynder med en ‘afsløring’ på det statslige CCTV, hvorefter andre medier – der alle i Kina i en eller anden udstrækning er kontrolleret af etpartistaten – tager over og fortsætter tilsværtningen, der forstærkes ved at bruge sociale medier. Det hele for at hjælpe kinesiske konkurrenter og producenter.

Det paradoksale er, at etpartistaten officielt er begyndt en kampagne, der skal bekæmpe ‘rygter’ på internettet. Med mindre de altså kommer fra etpartistaten selv, som flere kinesere spydigt har gjort opmærksom på.

Kampagnen mod Starbucks i oktober er et godt eksempel. Læs om det for eksempel her på NBC og så på Danwei, der har en en fin og kort opsummering om angrebet på Starbucks, der blev beskyldt for at have urimeligt høje priser i Kina.

De kinesiske forbrugere er kritiske overfor CCTV, der har været ramt af flere journalistiske skandaler, korruption og journalisternes mildt sagt problematiske etik. Derfor virker angrebene og rygtespredningen ikke, skriver Harvard Business Review i denne artikel, som du bør læse det hele af. Her et uddrag:

Even when there is no proof of foul play, CCTV’s attacks on foreign companies don’t have their intended effect. In October 2013, an incident involving Starbucks unfolded, when CCTV aired a segment “exposing” its relatively higher prices in China. Netizens collectively shrugged at the prices and decried the broadcast as biased and unfair. As Rachel Lu of Tea Leaf Nation noted: “What really riled observers is that CCTV grossly underestimated Chinese people’s ability to distinguish real injustice from the manufactured variety.”

Numerous mistakes, lack of transparency, and tone deafness have primed Netizens to be on the lookout for rumors originating from their government rather than from each other. Given CCTV’s lack of credibility, what exactly are state-run broadcasters trying to accomplish? Are they clumsy attempts to sway public opinion, or are they directed at the companies themselves?

The case with Fonterra sheds light on the effectiveness of these attacks as a form of protectionism. When Fonterra’s dairy products were rumored to contain bacteria that could cause botulism, China immediately suspended imports of all whey protein and milk-based powder from the New Zealand-based company. Food safety is highly sensitive, and after the 2008 melamine scandal, Chinese customers overwhelmingly prefer imported milk products. This time, the scandal involved imported products, causing a greater uproar in the country. On August 14, 2013, Fonterra’s milk products business head, Gary Romano, resigned over the scandal.

However, the event proved to be a false alarm (an “own goal,” according to Chinese media). By August 2013, laboratory results revealed that the bacteria found in the whey protein concentrate manufactured by Fonterra was clostridium sporogenes rather than botulism-causing clostridium botulinum. The Chinese could breathe a sigh of relief; those who knew about the test results, that is.

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Hurtige klik fra Kina af Kim Rathcke Jensen. Jeg er journalist og BA i kinesisk. Jeg bor i Beijing, hvor jeg arbejder som Politikens korrespondent i Kina og Asien.

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