China’s three major state media companies, China Central Television (CCTV), Xinhua and the People’s Daily could each receive about US$2.2 billion from the Ministry of Finance to fund their global expansions, the South China Morning Post reported. Plans include Xinhua launching an Asia-based television network modeled on Qatar’s Al-Jazeera, and increasing the number of its foreign bureaus from 100 to about 186. CCTV has already announced that it is adding Russian and Arabic channels to its line up, which already includes English, French and Spanish-language services. The People’s Daily is planning to start an English-language version of its Global Times newspaper in May 2009. The as-yet-untitled newspaper would be the country’s second national English-language paper after the China Daily.