The Xinhua News Agency is the official press agency of the People's Republic of China and the biggest center for collecting information and press conferences in China. It is the largest news agency in China, ahead of the China News Service. Xinhua is subordinate to the State Council and reports to the Communist Party of China's Propaganda and Public Information Departments. Xinhua's headquarters complex, the "pencil building", is at No. 57 Xuanwumenxi Street, Beijing. Its website Xinhua.org or Xinhuanet.com is headquartered on the twentieth floor of the Dacheng Plaza in Xicheng District, Beijing.
Xinhua employs more than 10,000 people, operates 107 foreign bureaus worldwide, and maintains 31 bureaus in China—one for each province, plus a military bureau. As most of the newspapers in China cannot afford to station correspondents abroad, or even in every Chinese province, they rely on Xinhua feeds to fill their pages. People's Daily, for example, uses Xinhua material for approximately 25 percent of its stories. Xinhua is a publisher as well as a news agency—it owns more than 20 newspapers and a dozen magazines, and it prints in eight languages: Chinese, English, Spanish, French, Russian, Portuguese, Arabic and Japanese.
The Xinhua press agency was started in November 1931 as the Red China News Agency and changed to its current name in 1937. During the Pacific War the agency developed overseas broadcasting capabilities and established its first overseas branches. It began broadcasting to foreign countries in English from 1944. When the communists took power in China, the agency represented the Chinese Communist Party in countries and territories with which it had no diplomatic representation, such as Hong Kong.