Chinese state-controlled CITIC Group acquires majority share in Czech media company
In April 2020, Chinese state-owned investment firm CITIC acquired a 57% majority share in the Czech Republic’s largest media company, Médea Agency. Médea commissions and allots advertising revenue for several Czech news outlets; Washington DC-based think tank RWR Advisory reports that the acquisition grants CITIC “considerable influence over the Czech Republic’s media landscape”. CITIC first gained a minority share in Médea in 2018, when the investment group assumed control of Czech assets previously owned by troubled Chinese firm CEFC Energy. CITIC acquired CEFC’s 31% share in Médea, and brokered an equity increase to 57% through its Czech investing arm Rainbow Wisdom. According to an anonymous source quoted by Czech investigative news site HlídacíPes, CITIC’s majority control is expected to entail that a fund of $119 million, managed by Médea, is divided amongst news outlets with, outlets publishing stories favorable to China accounts to be allocated greater shares of advertising revenue. The deal was reportedly facilitated by former Czech Defense Minister Jaroslav Tvrdik, and Jan Hamacek, current advisor to President Milos Zeman.

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Incident Metadata

Date: April 2020
Country: Czech Republic