The December 2, 2017 print edition of the Economist ran a short article “Happy Bunny” which you can find at: https://www.economist.com/news/china/21731828-communist-partys-publicists-can-afford-relax-bit-how-private-sector-helping-china (which is also the photo source). The article addresses how Chinese state media is working with the private sector to liven up their propaganda.
Given the often wooden and stoic nature the PRC’s state propaganda, it’s no wonder they decided to outsource some of their efforts. Of course cooperation between the government and the private sector takes on different dynamics then in other countries.
Private sector in the US comes in many flavors. The most obvious are the entertainment juggernauts in movies and TV (broadcast and streaming). Cooperation and interaction between the entertainment industry and the federal government peaked during WWII.
At this point in time (as evidenced by last night’s Golden Globe Awards see: http://bit.ly/2CTuNdu) the entertainment industry appears to be righting the wrongs of past years and striving for independence.
The other aspect of the private sector is of course are defense contractors. The US has had mixed results by outsourcing PSYOP to commercial entities. The media is quick to publicize government contracts for influence operations and generally opines that the millions of dollars spent on these contracts was a waste of money.
The PRC’s efforts are certainly a proof of concept that working with the private sector can help improve the effectiveness of influence operations.