It is the world’s most watched nightly news report, China’s CCTV 7pm evening news program, “Xinwen Lianbo” (新闻联播）. Simultaneously broadcast on most terrestrial tv stations in China, it has a nightly audience estimated at over 100 million.
This past week, the level of broadcast Chinese on this news program took a brief, steep dive. The reason: a short clip of me speaking Chinese led off a news report about recent economic reforms in Guangdong Province and the introduction of pilot free trade zones in Guangdong‘s three largest cities, Shenzhen, Guangzhou and Zhuhai.
You can watch the video by clicking here. (You may need to sit through a pre-roll advertisement.) My contribution is mentioning how comparatively easy it is to register a business in Shenzhen Qianhai, the most ambitious of Guangdong’s free trade zones.
I was out of the country in Europe when the broadcast was aired, so didn’t get to watch it live. But, I knew instantly something was going on. As I sat in a lunch meeting in Switzerland at 1:15pm (7:15pm China time), calls and messages started flooding in from friends and acquaintances watching the report in China.