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Post Info TOPIC: China to launch 24- hour Chinese-language satellite TV channel for Laos !


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China to launch 24- hour Chinese-language satellite TV channel for Laos !

China is preparing to launch a potentially controversial Chinese-language satellite TV service to ASEAN countries [Association of Southeast Asian Nations] next year through a TV station apparently under de facto state control.

The proposed Eastv will launch on the auspicious date of 8 August 2008, coinciding with the opening of the Beijing Olympics. According to the station’s plans, a three-month trial will start in May.

The 24-hour satellite TV service is intended to reach households in all 10 ASEAN countries plus the mainland, Japan and Korea.

The station, a Hong Kong-registered company with most of its production in Beijing, is close to reaching agreements with officials in Vietnam, the Philippines, Myanmar and Laos over broadcasting rights, according to an Eastv spokeswoman.

Xin Zhiwei, deputy chief of Eastv, said the service would concentrate on China-related financial news and entertainment.

“We will mainly focus on enhancing economic ties between China and the ASEAN member states,” he said.

Mr Xin refused, however, to disclose the ownership details of the Hong Kong Zhicheng International Investment Group, which has financed the station, although he did say it was partially funded by mainland businesses.

A source close to the station said the investors were backed by key members of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, and the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade.

However, according to a professor in Hong Kong Baptist University’s journalism department, the station’s success was not guaranteed.

“It all comes down to sensitivity towards Chinese nationalism,” said Judith Clarke, referring to the possible impact the station will have in ASEAN countries, such as Malaysia, where friction between Chinese and others is considered common.

Text of report by Martin Zhou published by Hong Kong newspaper South China Morning Post website on 17 December

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