Hong Kong media mogul Jimmy Lai (黎智英) said yesterday Taiwan was set to be the “center of cultural production” for the Greater China market as he gears up for the launch of his TV channels in the country.
“With its rule of law and protection of intellectual property, Taiwan is destined to be the center of production of films, TV programs and cultural products for Greater China,” he said at the Asia Media Summit in Hong Kong.
Publications by Lai's Next Media Group, famous for its muckraking style and anti-Beijing stance, have been banned in China.
Instead of trying to push his way into China, Lai has extended the boundaries of his operations from Hong Kong to Taiwan since 2001 with the launch of the successful Taiwanese editions of the weekly Next Magazine and the Apple Daily newspaper.
An application filed by his group is under review by the National Communications Commission (NCC) for permission to run news, information and entertainment TV channels. On Wednesday last week, the commission, for the fourth time, rejected Next Media's applications as it failed to convince commission members that it would do anything different from what they can see in the Apple Daily and Next Magazine.
NCC spokesperson Chen Jeng-chang (陳正倉) said the commission was concerned over the network's animated news that presented events in a “docudrama” format, which it said does not meet professional standards of journalism and truthful reporting.
Next Media's guidelines for animated news production contravened Article 13 of the Regulations Governing the Classification of Television Programs (電視節目分級處理辦法), which states that “images in news broadcasting programs shall be subject to classified G [General rating] regulations, without classification labeling,” Chen added.
However, Lai remained confident about his foray into television.
“TV in Taiwan — that's what we want to conquer in time, although it's really difficult,” he said.
Lai said his focus on content production and Internet-based TV would eventually help him enter the market in China, where, like Taiwan, Mandarin is spoken.
“The future for us is content production and having that content syndicated and sold to various media groups,” he said. “Hopefully, when Taiwan becomes the center of cultural production, we will have the Greater China market through Internet communication.”
ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY STAFF WRITER