Stock Code 000681.SZ
中文 | English

Corbis acquisition distorted by ideological bias

2016-01-29

Corbis, a US image licensing company, sold a large portion of its photo archive to a Chinese counterpart Visual China Group (VCG) lately. The transaction, which should benefit both sides economically, has unfortunately been politically observed and skewed, mainly because among the millions of photos and videos, there are a few featuring the 1989 Tiananmen incident.

Reports by Western media seem worried about possible censorship of these photos. However, as an image licensing agent, VCG does not hold the rights to these photos. 

In fact, the owners, such as The Associated Press and Reuters, can market them through as many other channels as they want. There are also similar photos that are held by other owners.

It is ridiculous that this business deal is being examined through such a marginal perspective by Western media. The angle is much more deliberate and ideological than objective and fair.

Cross-border business deals involving Chinese companies have always been scrutinized through a political and ideological lens. Alibaba, a Chinese Internet giant, bought the South China Morning Post, a Hong Kong-based newspaper last December. 

Western media insinuated that the acquisition had been manipulated by the Chinese government, which endeavors to reverse the preva lent negative discourse about China.

In the narratives most Western media prefer to use to portray China, many have an ideological tinge. Sometimes, it reminds Chinese people of how their own media used to, four or five decades ago, describe Western countries. However, that period of time has long gone in China's public discourse. 

China has already abandoned an ideological approach of viewing the world. The majority of Chinese people do not linger over past events because they look into the future. They cherish as long as society is becoming more resilient, robust and prosperous with their efforts. In nearly 27 years, they have lifted the country from poverty to become the world's second-largest economy, while witnessing many other nations being shattered.

However, the West seems to be locked in an obsolete ideological viewpoint when they look at China. They deliberately ignore the drastic changes the country has been going through all these years, and try to measure and judge Chinese society with an eye fixed on the past. 

The majority of Chinese refuse to confine their minds and activities to the past. China doesn't need the West to be a small-minded reminder. 

It is time that the West restructures their stereotypical perspectives. Their attitudes should be progressive and informed. The media should be the first to make that change.