China’s rise as an economic power has attracted enormous attention: from policy makers to business circles, and from journalists to academics worldwide. The economic reform and ‘open door’ policies carried out in the late 1970s have brought the world’s most populous country on to a fast track of economic growth and increasing openness. The transition from a centralized command economy to a market economy has been accompanied by unprecedented social change, but it has taken place without any substantial change in the political structure. The clear contrast between ‘continuities and discontinuities’ seems to suggest a different model of transition in comparison with that experienced by the former USSR and other Eastern European countries. For all these reasons, Chinese media undoubtedly make an interesting case for study.