“Such reports coincide with a shift in SETV’s business strategy to target the mainland market for the sale of its fictional dramas that are popular in Taiwan,” Cook said.
Cooks wrote in the report that the dynamics of Taiwan’s media “closely match the patterns of change in Hong Kong a decade and a half ago.”
They signal an emerging shift in market incentives in Taiwan, in which the financial sustainability and success of a media company are not determined only by its popularity within the nation or its journalistic standards, “but at least in part by its ability to earn revenue in China and cooperate with Chinese government-aligned entities,” the researcher said.
The youth-driven “anti-media monopoly” movement involving Taiwanese journalists, press freedom groups, students and academics that gained momentum last year was referred to in the report, which said that two deals that would have increased the media holdings of Beijing-friendly tycoons were abandoned as a result of the campaign.
Paul Mooney, a veteran China reporter, told Cook in an interview: “The [Chinese] Communist Party [CCP] thinks it’s now powerful enough to intimidate [non-Chinese], from businesspeople to diplomats to academics and journalists, and it is willing to throw its weight around. It has learned that this often works and is willing to do anything to protect its image and stop negative news from being reported.”
The CCP’s transnational media controls affect news outlets around the globe in complex ways, both blatant and subtle.
Nonetheless, “there are forces that have proved successful in countering their impacts,” Cook said.
In the conclusion section of the report, she offered recommendations to governments, media development donors, media owners and media outlets on how to counter Chinese interference.