The administration of US president Donald Trump designated in mid-February five Chinese media outlets as foreign missions, including the Xinhua News Agency, China Global Television Network (CGTN) that falls under the China Central Television (CCTV), China Radio International, China Daily Distribution Corporation, and Hai Tian Development USA.

The US State Department is expected to place four additional Chinese state-run media outlets with offices in the United States under restriction, designating them as missions of the Chinese government, Reuters reported on Wednesday, citing three sources familiar with the matter.

The designation would force the media to share their personnel lists and register all properties they rent or own in the US with the State Department. In addition, employees for these entities would be branded as agents of the Chinese government.

The new measures are expected to include China Central Television (CCTV) and China News Service, which are the two top Chinese state-owned networks, according to Reuters.

The move comes as the US-China relationship continues to be strained. In particular, relations recently with the Trump administration accusing Beijing of covering-up the seriousness of the coronavirus outbreak in the country in its early stages and claiming the virus was of artificial origin. Relations deteriorated further with the White House announcing in late May that it would no longer consider Hong Kong as autonomous from the remainder of China.

On 19 February, the US slapped similar restrictions on five Chinese media outlets, claiming that the five organisations did not serve as independent news outlets and were effectively under the control of the Chinese government.

The February designations targeted Xinhua News Agency, China Global Television Network, China Radio International, China Daily Distribution Corporation and Hai Tian Development USA.