Connections between China and News Break, a top news aggregation app in the United States, have been exposed. On May 23, the Boston-based The Wire China website published an in-depth investigation revealing News Break’s deep ties with China. News Break began in 2015 when Jeff Zheng founded Particle Media Inc. in Delaware. Jeff Zheng is also the founder of the Chinese news app Yidian Zixun. Before the investigation was published, the Yidian’s website listed the establishment of Particle Media as a milestone in the company’s growth, with the following description:
“In April 2015, Yidian Zixun established Particle Media, an affiliate company in Silicon Valley, to launch its global strategic deployment, and the English version of Yidian Zixun, News Break, was recommended by the U.S. App store twice in a row and has become a popular news aggregation application in the United States.”
However, the description was removed from Yidian’s website after The Wire China published its investigation. According to The Wire China, News Break said the statement on Yidian’s website was inaccurate and that its legal department would send a letter asking that it be removed. A search in Chinese for the description only led to “404” error messages, which means the articles have been removed. However, articles on relatively smaller sites can still be found that mention Yidian Zixun establishing Particle Media in Silicon Valley, such as this one and this one published by bloggers on Sohu. The Epoch Times achieved these two articles and made a further investigation into News Break’s connection with the Chinese regime.
News Break, Yidian Zixun, and Jeff Zheng
According to publicly available information, News Break is owned by Particle Media. It was established by Jeff Zheng in April 2015, and is the English version of Yidian Zixun, which was also founded by Jeff Zheng. According to his LinkedIn page, Jeff Zheng obtained a Ph.D. in computer science at the University at Buffalo after he gained a Masters in Science degree at the Chinese Academy of Sciences. He gained his Bachelor of Science degree from Tsinghua University in China. He joined Yahoo in 2006 and became the founding head of Yahoo! Labs China in 2011. In 2013, he founded Yidian Zixun, which can be translated as “one byte of information,” and acted as the CEO.