Ming Pao

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Ming Pao
Ming Pao logo.png
TypeDaily newspaper
Owner(s)Media Chinese International
PublisherMedia Chinese International
Founded20 May 1959
LanguageChinese (in Traditional Chinese characters)
CountryHong Kong
Sister newspapers
Free online archivesnews.mingpao.com
Ming Pao
Traditional Chinese明報
Simplified Chinese明报
Literal meaningclear newspaper

Ming Pao (Chinese: 明報) is a Chinese-language newspaper published by Media Chinese International in Hong Kong. In the 1990s, Ming Pao established four overseas branches in North America; each provides independent reporting on local news and collects local advertisements. Currently, of the overseas editions, only the two Canadian editions remain: Ming Pao Toronto and Ming Pao Vancouver. In a 2019 survey from the Chinese University of Hong Kong sampling 1079 local households,[1] Ming Pao was listed as the second most credible paid newspaper in Hong Kong.[2]


Launch, early days[edit]

Ming Pao was first published on 20 May 1959, and was founded by the famous Chinese Wuxia novelist Louis Cha, known better by his pseudonym Jin Yong (金庸), and his friend, Shen Pao Sing (沈寶新).

Daisy Li Yuet-Wah won an International Press Freedom Award from the Committee to Protect Journalists for her work with the paper in 1994.[3]

Before British Hong Kong's handover to the People's Republic of China by the United Kingdom in 1997, Ming Pao was considered hostile to the Chinese authority.[4] When China reunited with Hong Kong, the controversial editors of Ming Pao turned favorable towards the Chinese government.[5][6]

Merger with Malaysia Sinchew and Nanyang Groups[edit]

In October 1995, the publisher of Ming Pao, Ming Pao Enterprise was taken over by Tiong Hiew King (Chinese: 張曉卿). On 29 January 2007, Tiong released a proposal to merge the three media groups – Sin Chew Media Corporation Berhad (Malaysia), Nanyang Press Holdings Berhad (Malaysia) and Ming Pao Enterprise Corporation Limited (Hong Kong). The merged group, named Media Chinese International Limited was dual-listed on the main boards of the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong and the Bursa Malaysia Securities Berhad in April 2008. All of the existing groups retain their existing publications and independent operations.

The website of Ming Pao was set up in 1995, one of the earliest newspaper websites in Hong Kong.[7]

Since April 2008, Ming Pao is published by Ming Pao Newspapers Limited, a subsidiary of Media Chinese International Limited.

International development[edit]

Ming Pao set up a Toronto office[8] in Canada in May 1993 to publish the Ming Pao Eastern Edition (Chinese: 明報(加東版)), then set up a Vancouver office in October the same year for the Ming Pao Western Edition (Chinese: 明報(加西版)).

In April 1997, the group set up a New York office and started publishing the Ming Pao US East Coast Edition (Chinese: 明報(美東版)). The journal launched in the San Francisco Bay Area in April 2004 with a print run of 25,000, the sixth Chinese newspapers to be distributed in the region.[9] In 2007, the office also published the New York Free Newspaper (Chinese: 紐約免費報).

Ming Pao New York and Ming Pao San Francisco ceased operations on 31 January and 14 February 2009, respectively. The closing of NY operations was a symbol of the weakening of ethnic newspapers of the region.[10] The group merged the resources of Ming Pao New York and the New York Free Newspaper to create Ming Pao Daily Free News (New York) (Chinese: 明報(紐約)免費報), serving the Chinese community along the US East Coast.


Chinese Communist Party Influence[edit]

A 2001 report on Chinese media censorship by the Jamestown Foundation cited Ming Pao as one of four major overseas Chinese newspapers directly or indirectly controlled by Beijing.[11]

“The dominant Chinese media vehicle in America is the newspaper," wrote the report's lead author Mei Duzhe. "Four major Chinese newspapers are found in the U.S.—World Journal, Sing Tao Daily, Ming Pao Daily News, and The China Press. Of these four, three are either directly or indirectly controlled by the government of Mainland China, while the fourth (run out of Taiwan) has recently begun bowing to pressure from the Beijing government.”

The report also noted that the CCP started purchasing important Hong Kong news media companies, including Ming Pao, through third parties, in preparation for the Hong Kong hand-over to the People's Republic of China in 1997. “Employees at Ming Pao's New York office have told sources that their 'true boss' is none other than the Chinese Consulate [in New York], and that they are obligated to do whatever the Consulate asks," it said.

A 2006 study of Ming Pao editorials noted a tendency toward self-censorship concerning criticism toward Beijing.[6] According to a 2013 report by Center for International Media Assistance, "The Long Shadow of Chinese Censorship: How the Communist Party's Media Restrictions Affect News Outlets Around the World,":

"Before and after the 1997 [Hong Kong] transition, a number of influential newspapers run as family businesses were bought by tycoons with business interests in China and close ties to mainland officials, such as Ming Pao Daily, Sing Tao Daily, and Sing Pao," said the report. "Soon, a number of observable patterns emerged at these and other outlets signaling growing pressure within the media industry to reduce criticism of the central government…"[12]

Assault on former chief editor Kevin Lau[edit]

Kevin Lau, who had been chief editor of the journal until January 2014, was attacked in the morning of 26 February 2014 in Sai Wan Ho, Hong Kong. He was seriously injured in a targeted knife attack. It was widely speculated that the attack may have been driven by political motivation, and related to its role in investigation by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) into the offshore assets of China's leaders, including relatives of Communist Party general secretary Xi Jinping, former Premier Wen Jiabao, and several members of the National People's Congress[13][14] Journalists and press of the world saw the attack as an attack on press freedom. Thousands of people, led by leading journalists, attended a rally to denounce violence and intimidation of the media.[15]

During the court hearings of the two suspects, one declared that he was looking to get a $100,000 reward with this attack.[16]

Appointment of Chong Tien Siong[edit]

In 2014, the appointment of new chief editor Chong Tien Siong sparked controversy and internal revolt, due to Siong's close ties to Beijing, and was seen as a major threat to the Chinese-language newspaper's editorial independence.[17]

Censorship on Tiananmen Massacre[edit]

Ming Pao was subject to controversy in 2015 after editor-in-chief Chong Tien-siong ordered that a story detailing the Tiananmen massacre be replaced with a story about Chinese Internet giant Alibaba as a "role model for young, would-be entrepreneurs". Chum Shun-kin said the story that was pulled contained details about the history of the massacre, including eyewitness accounts of the killing of civilians and information from diplomatic cables from Canada. The pulling of the Tiananmen story has been criticised by some, including Civic Party lawmaker Claudia Mo who said that Chong appears to "want to shield Beijing from embarrassment, instead of acting in the interests of the public and protecting their right to information".[18]

Hong Kong Journalists Association spokeswoman Shum Yee-lan called on Chong to "communicate" with his own staff.[18]

Termination of chief editor Keung Kwok-yuen[edit]

The journal's executive chief editor, Keung Kwok-yuen (Chinese: 姜國元), was abruptly terminated on 20 April 2016, the same day that a report based on the Panama Papers was published on its front page. Management said that the paper's turnover had been falling in since last year and the Keung had been laid off with immediate effect due to difficult operating conditions.[19][20] The timing of Keung's removal led to speculation that the Panama Papers report, which connected a number of influential individuals in the territory to tax havens abroad, may have been considered sensitive, thus being the real reason for the dismissal.[19]

Keung had written several weeks earlier about the suppression of Ten Years, a dystopian film about Hong Kong in the year 2025 that was banned in mainland China.[19] Staff and the union publicly denounced editor-in-chief Chong Tien Siong's decision to "punish editorial staff who have different opinions", and questioned the cost reduction pretext as an excuse.[19] Journalists at Ming Pao manifested the concern felt by the media at large, several of them protested by filed blank space reports in an edition the Sunday following the dismissal.[21][22]

Editorials for 2019 anti-extradition bill protests[edit]

On 13–14 June 2019, Ming Pao published editorials to define the 2019–20 Hong Kong protests as a riot (Chinese: 暴動), blaming the violence of the protesters.[23][24] However, on 14 June, the instant news section of mingpao.com, the web portal of the publisher, published a statement to declare that the editorial represents the newspaper, but not the frontier staff of the publisher.[25] The translator of the editorial refused to translate the article to English as well as any editorials in the future in protest.[26]

On 17 June 2019, Ming Pao published an open letter written by some of its employees criticizing the June 13 editorial for being biased towards the establishment and damaging the reputation of the newspaper.[27]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Centre for Communication and Public Opinion Survey - School of Journalism and Communication". www.com.cuhk.edu.hk. Retrieved 23 March 2020.
  2. ^ Centre for Communication and Public Opinion Survey (2019). "Tracking Research: Public Evaluation on Media Credibility - Survey Results" (PDF). Chinese University of Hong Kong. Retrieved 14 March 2020.
  3. ^ "Journalists Receive 1996 Press Freedom Awards". Committee to Protect Journalists. 1996. Archived from the original on 5 June 2012. Retrieved 28 May 2011.
  4. ^ Kahn, Joseph (21 April 1997). "Ming Pao Has Already Pushed The Dissidents Off Page One". The Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 26 May 2020.
  5. ^ Joseph Kahn (22 April 1997). "Hong Kong Newspaper Softens Its Voice". Cpj.org. Retrieved 16 September 2018.
  6. ^ a b LEE, FRANCIS L.F.; LIN, ANGEL M.Y. (2006). "Newspaper editorial discourse and the politics of self-censorship in Hong Kong". Discourse & Society. 17 (3): 331–358. doi:10.1177/0957926506062371. hdl:10722/92430. ISSN 0957-9265. JSTOR 42889054.
  7. ^ "Ten websites honoured for providing healthy contents". www.info.gov.hk. Retrieved 20 April 2017.
  8. ^ "Ming Pao Canada Website". Ming Pao (Canada).
  9. ^ Vanessa Hua (3 August 2004). "SAN FRANCISCO / Newspaper war in the Bay Area / Ming Pao becomes 6th Chinese-language daily". Sfgate.com. Retrieved 16 September 2018.
  10. ^ Kirk Semple (22 January 2009). "Plan to Close Chinese-Language Paper Deepens a Shadow Over the Ethnic Press". Nytimes.com. Retrieved 16 September 2018.
  11. ^ Duzhe, Mei. China Brief Vol1, Issue 10. "How China's Government is Attempting to Control Chinese Media in America" "Jamestown Foundation." 2001
  12. ^ Cook, Sarah (22 October 2013). "The Long Shadow of Chinese Censorship: How the Communist Party's Media Restrictions Affect News Outlets Around the World" (PDF). Center for International Media Assistancee. p. 25. Archived from the original (PDF) on 9 February 2014. Retrieved 1 October 2017.
  13. ^ Mitra-Thakur, Sofia (28 February 2014). "Hong Kong: Former editor Kevin Lau Chun-to stabbed in triad-style hit ". The Independent.
  14. ^ Mullany, Gerry (25 February 2014). "Hong Kong Editor Whose Ouster Stirred Protests Is Slashed". The New York Times
  15. ^ Siu, Beatrice (3 March 2014). "Pressing the point" Archived 5 February 2015 at the Wayback Machine. The Standard.
  16. ^ Julie Chu (23 July 2015). "Knifemen offered HK$100,000 each to attack former Ming Pao chief editor Kevin Lau, court hears". Scmp.com. Retrieved 16 September 2018.
  17. ^ Lam, Jeffie & Lau, Stewart. 21 January 2014 “Controversial new boss Chong Tien Siong may join Ming Pao in 2 weeks” South China Morning Post
  18. ^ a b "Removal of Tiananmen Crackdown Story Prompts Questions in Hong Kong". Radio Free Asia.
  19. ^ a b c d LO, Jennifer (21 April 2016). "HK freedoms under spotlight as Ming Pao sacks editor".
  20. ^ "Hong Kong journalists' shock at Ming Pao editor's sacking". BBC News. 21 April 2016.
  21. ^ "Columnists continue Ming Pao protest". The Standard. 25 April 2016.
  22. ^ "Hong Kong daily Ming Pao runs blank columns in protest at sacking of top editor". South China Morning Post. 24 April 2016.
  23. ^ 暴力無補於事 唯盼香港平安. Ming Pao (editorial) (in Chinese). Media Chinese International. 13 June 2019. Retrieved 14 June 2019.
  24. ^ 政府修例強拔心中刺 管治失效代價難彌補. Ming Pao (editorial) (in Chinese). Media Chinese International. 14 June 2019. Retrieved 14 June 2019.
  25. ^ 明報聲明 (07:35). instant news section. mingpao.com (in Chinese). Media Chinese International. 14 June 2019. Retrieved 14 June 2019.
  26. ^ 【6.12 佔領】不滿社評定性為「暴動」 翻譯者拒為《明報》譯英文 職員貼標語:社評不代表員工. The Stand News (in Chinese). 13 June 2019. Retrieved 14 June 2019.
  27. ^ 偏袒政權毁損報格 議事須持公義良知—— 一群《明報》員工反對「6.13社評」公開信. Ming Pao (editorial) (in Chinese). Media Chinese International. 17 June 2019. Retrieved 29 June 2019.

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