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Backgrounder: The Chinese-Owned TV Company Beaming Into Africa

Map via The Wire China

Researchers following Chinese media influence in Africa have long concentrated on StarTimes, a Chinese-owned satellite TV company rapidly expanding its influence across the continent. However, unlike Chinese state media outlets like CGTN, StarTimes isn’t simply a mouthpiece for Beijing, as made clear in a recent profile on the company in The Wire China.

Instead, it focuses on building cultural influence by expanding African access to satellite TV while offering a mix of Chinese, local, and foreign content. StarTimes is Africa’s second-largest satellite TV service after South Africa’s MultiChoice. It has up to 25 million subscribers and maintains a presence in 20 countries.

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