Taiwan China

Pro-China Cable TV Station Taken Off Air In Taiwan

Taiwan China

The Taiwan government has taken a pro-China cable news TV station off the air as the country’s media regulator found that it failed to provide accurate information, The Straits Times reported.

After being removed from the cable TV network, the most-watched cable news station, Chung Tien Television (CTi) put out a 42-hour marathon live broadcast of its anchors and hosts telling about their experiences working for CTi, and its 26 years of broadcast history.

The station is owned by Want Want China Times Media Group, which also owns pro-China newspaper The China Times and snack manufacturer Want Want. The Want Want’s management is known for being critical of President Tsai Ing-wen’s pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), and the company-owned news outlets produce coverage that leans towards China.

On November 18, Taiwan’s National Communications Commission (NCC) announced that it had unanimously decided not to renew the licence which meant in effect to shut it down. After the expiry of its licence, CTi’s content can still stream on online platforms such as YouTube.

CTi had violated broadcast regulations repeatedly, with viewer complaints to the commission growing in the past three years, The Strait Times quoted Chen Yaw-shyang, NCC chairman as saying.

Last year alone, CTi was the subject of more than 960 public complaints to the regulator, or about 30 per cent of all complaints about TV programming, he added.

Chen also underlined the lack of balanced news reporting, saying Want Want chairman Tsai Eng-meng, who has long been an advocate of Taiwan’s unification with China, meddled in the station’s news production.

He is Taiwan’s second-richest man with a fortune of USD 5.6 billion (USD 7.6 billion), after Foxconn founder Terry Gou with USD 6.1 billion, The Straits Times quoted the Bloomberg Billionaire’s Index.

CTi News received much public attention in the weeks leading up to Taiwan’s presidential election on January 11 this year, when many viewers noticed that the channel dedicated much of its coverage lauding the China-friendly candidate Han Kuo-yu. It zeroed in on details like his demeanour, the way he dressed and the jokes he made, The Straits Times reported.

The NCC’s decision to take CTi off the air may be the most severe penalty a local media outlet has received because of its ties with China, but it is not the first time that “red media”, or China-leaning media, has made headlines. In June last year, over 100,000 people marched in Taipei protesting against “red media” that leaned too close to China’s political views. Among the protesters were lawmakers from Ms Tsai’s DPP, third-party lawmakers and politicians, professors and Internet influencers, The Straits Times further reported.

CTi has hit back at the NCC, saying that the decision was politically motivated, which the NCC chairman dismissed.

Taiwan’s main opposition party, the China-friendly Kuomintang (KMT), supported CTi, with KMT chairman Johnny Chiang protesting against “dirtying” the licence renewal decision with political meddling.

A week after the NCC’s decision in effect to shut down a pro-China cable TV station, CTi filed for an injunction but this was rejected by the court. The station said on Monday that it will be filing an appeal, but as of Friday, no appeal had been filed. (ANI)

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