HK Protest over Mainland Meddling In Broadcaster Closure

The closure of Hong Kong’s first digital broadcaster has drawn heated protest over the weekend. Supporters say Digital Broadcasting Corporation was forced to shut down because of meddling from the mainland. 2012-10-22 10:39 AM EST Last Updated: 2012-10-22 02:22 PM EST
Hot on the heels of protests against a controversial education plan that’s suspected of heavy Chinese influence, Hong Kong residents turned out in the thousands over the weekend to protest against what they say was a politically influenced decision to close a brand new radio station


Digital Broadcasting Corporation, or DBC, was forced off the air earlier in October, less than a month after it began. It was co-founded by a former Democratic Party lawmaker, Albert Cheng Jing-han. Cheng and his station are known for being critical of the Hong Kong government and attempts by mainland authorities to influence Hong Kong affairs.


Officially, the station had to close because of funding problems after a dispute amongst its shareholders. But supporters say the station’s closure is politically influenced, and that the shareholder Bill Wong Cho-bau withdrew his funds because he was pressured by an unnamed Chinese official.


On Sunday, pro-democracy legislators turned out at Hong Kong government headquarters to show support for DBC. They also took a swipe at Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, widely perceived to be an appointee of authorities in Beijing to govern Hong Kong. 


[Wong Yuk Man Raymond, Hong Kong Legislator]:

“We have to work together and overthrow the collusion between Hong Kong and the communists. We don’t want the Communist Party to rule Hong Kong. Down with Leung Chun-Ying, and the Hong Kong communist regime.”


DBC supporters say the closure of the station hurts freedom of press and expression in Hong Kong. Albert Cheng Jing-han explained why he wants his station to continue.


[Albert Cheng Jing-han, Co-founder, Digital Broadcasting Corporation]:

“Hong Kong people have no other choice. Why am I insisting on running DBC? It’s because of one word: Truth.”


DBC was Hong Kong’s first digital broadcaster. It says shareholder Bill Wong retracted on an agreement to invest a further $50 million Hong Kong dollars in the station, causing it to run out of funds. Wong says his decision was made only based on commercial considerations.


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