On October 17, 2007, Liu Binjie (柳斌杰), top minister at China’s primary agency for regulation and control of print media, the General Administration of Press and Publications (GAPP), told the official Guangming Daily and international newspapers including the Financial Times that he encouraged public listing by publishing companies (出版机构), newspaper groups (报业企业) and core official news websites (官方骨干新闻类网站) — moreover, he said, such companies would no longer be obliged to list only their business sides (circulation, advertising, etc.), leaving the editorial side private.
The term “comprehensive media listing” (媒体整体上市) was born.
Just over a week later, on October 25, Guangdong’s Southern Weekend ran an editorial praising Liu Binjie’s announcement, saying comprehensive media public listings “mean that media system reforms in China are entering a new phase”, and that such listings “would be greatly beneficial to safeguarding the public’s right to expression (保障公民的表达权), the media’s right to conduct watchdog journalism (媒体的舆论监督权), and the fostering of democratic politics across China (发育整个中国的民主政治).”
On November 20, 2007, one month after Liu’s announcement, an initial public offering (IPO) by Liaoning Publishing & Media Company Limited (辽宁出版传媒股份有限公司) was approved by the China Securities Regulatory Commission, becoming the first Chinese media company to list both its business and editorial sides.
This was a sharp departure from previous Chinese media listings, including B-Ray Media (博瑞传播/600880), CCID Media (赛迪传媒/00504), Beijing Media Corporation Limited (北青传媒), Huawen Media (华闻传媒/000793), Xinhua Media (新华传媒/600825) and others.
On November 24, 2007, Southern Metropolis Weekend magazine published an interview with media expert Yu Guoming (喻国明) in which the professor said: “Market mechanisms are for more democratic in nature and suitable to the needs of society than administrative mechanisms — this fact is already beyond question. So I believe that if we employ market mechanisms we will see marked improvements in the efficiency, balance and free flow of information in China.”