Ta Kung Pao

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Ta Kung Pao (simplified Chinese: 大公报; traditional Chinese: 大公報; pinyin: Dàgōng Bào; Jyutping: daai6 gung1 bou3; formerly L'Impartial) is the oldest active Chinese language newspaper in China. Founded in Tianjin in 1902, but the current Ta Kung Pao was established by the government of the People's Republic of China after the Chinese Civil War.[1] Widely regarded as a veteran pro-Beijing newspaper,[2][3] it covers a range of political, economic and cultural topics.

The current circulation of Ta Kung Pao newspaper is estimated to be 400,000 copies (in print), of which 160,000 copies are distributed in Hong Kong, 210,000 in Mainland China, and 30,000 for the rest of the world. The daily visits of its online version is estimated to be 150,000.[citation needed]


The Tianjin Ta Kung Pao (then known as L'Impartial) from 1912

In the final years of the Qing dynasty, Ying Lianzhi, a Catholic Manchu aristocrat, founded the newspaper in Tianjin on 17 June 1902, in order to, in Ying's own words, "help China become a modern and democratic nation". The paper put forward the slogan Four-No-ism" (四不主義) in its early years, pledging to say "No" to all political parties, governments, commercial companies, and persons.

It stood up to the repression at the time, openly criticising the Empress Dowager Cixi and reactionary leaders, and promoted democratic reforms, pioneering the use of written vernacular Chinese (baihua). Readership fell after the Xinhai Revolution in 1911 and Wang Zhilong (王郅隆) bought it in 1916. Still, the newspaper was out of business by 1925 due to the lack of readership. On 1 September 1926, however, Wu Dingchang (吳鼎昌), Hu Zhengzhi, and Zhang Jiluan (張季鸞) re-established the newspaper in Tianjin. With "no party affiliation, no political endorsement, no self-promotion, no ignorance" (不黨, 不賣, 不私, 不盲) as its motto, the newspaper's popularity quickly rose again because of its sharp political commentary, especially of the Japanese as the Second Sino-Japanese War began.

As the war raged on, the newspaper's staff fled to other cities, such as Shanghai, Hankou, Chongqing, Guilin and Hong Kong, to continue publishing, but local editions were abandoned as the Japanese captured more and more territory. After the war was won, Wong Wan San (王芸生), the chief editor, re-established the Shanghai edition on 1 November 1945, in the format and style of the old Shanghai edition. They had also planned to issue editions for other cities, including Guangzhou, but the Chinese Civil War forced this proposal to be shelved. Ta Kung Pao supported the Kuomintang at the beginning of the Civil War, but switched its sympathies to the Communists after the repression of intellectuals, hyper-inflation, and other violent purges of political opponents by the Kuomintang.[4]

In March 1948, the Hong Kong edition was re-established. A major newspaper during the Republican years, it continued to be influential after re-publication by Fei Yi Ming, the subsequent publisher in Hong Kong after 1949, as one of few newspapers that survived foreign invasion and civil war. In April 1952, British authorities in Hong Kong tried the newspaper's proprietor, publisher, and its editor for violation of the Sedition Ordinance. Ta Kung Pao, along with the New Evening Post and Wen Wei Po, were charged with inciting an uprising by negatively reporting on the colonial authorities' response to a fire in Tung Tau Tsuen. As a result, Ta Kung Pao's leadership was fined, jailed, and ordered to cease reporting for six months.[4]

The paper was the earliest Chinese-language newspaper to establish a website "TaKungPao.com" in 1995.[citation needed]

In January 2019, Ta Kung Pao published an article stating that a "secret envoy" of president Tsai Ing-wen had met with three Hong Kong activists from the pro-independence group Student Localism. However, the "secret envoy" was actually Su Yong-yao, a senior political reporter for Liberty Times, a Taiwanese newspaper. The article was in turn criticized by the Taiwanese presidential office as "ridiculous" and "a piece of fake news".[5]


The head office of Ta Kung Pao located on Hennessy Road, Wan Chai

The paper is state-owned, controlled by the Liaison Office of the Central Government in Hong Kong.[6] The head office of Ta Kung Pao is located on Hennessy Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong Island, with many offices in mainland China, such as in Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin, Inner-Mongolia and Guangzhou.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ 大公報道歉:「習近平打出租」是假新聞. BBC News Chinese (in Chinese). 18 April 2013. Retrieved 17 February 2014.
  2. ^ "Experts wary over news of China's 2nd carrier". Retrieved 17 February 2014.
  3. ^ Roy, Denny (2 September 2019). "The blackest hand in Hong Kong is Beijing's". The Japan Times. Retrieved 18 September 2019.
  4. ^ a b Zheng, Yangwen; Hong, Liu; Szonyi, Michael (2012). The Cold War in Asia: The Battle for Hearts and Minds. Brill. pp. 103, 108, 111.
  5. ^ "Hong Kong newspaper Ta Kung Pao slammed by Taiwanese presidential office for 'fake news'". Hong Kong Free Press HKFP. 17 January 2019. Retrieved 18 September 2019.
  6. ^ Betsy Tse (9 April 2015). "Basic Law violation seen as LOCPG tightens grip on HK publishers". EJ Insight.

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