The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday reiterated its opposition to a Want Want China Times Group merger and called for President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) to handle the deal appropriately.
“The DPP, which has always advocated the freedom of the press and social justice, calls for the Chinese Nationalist Party [KMT] to express its position on the case and for Ma to handle the case with care,” DPP spokesperson Wang Min-sheng (王閔生) told a press conference.
The conditional approval of a NT$76 billion (US$2.52 billion) deal allowing Want Want China Times Group to acquire cable television service provider China Network Systems (CNS) has drawn widespread criticism over fears a media monopoly could be created.
Citing reports of international media, including the BBC, The Associate Press and the UK-based Financial Times, Wang said the deal was now in the international spotlight with various media outlets having reported on Want Want China Times Group chairman Tsai Eng-meng’s (蔡衍明) pro-China position, China’s increasing influence on Taiwanese media and the self-censorship of local media on Beijing’s rights violations and corruption.
Despite strong opposition against the deal from academics and civic groups, members of the National Communications Commission (NCC) still approved the deal with less than one week left on their terms on the commission, Wang said, adding that what was even more incredible was that Want Want Group then reneged on the details of the deal less than 24 hours after the deal was approved.
Hung Chih-kun (洪智坤), a member of the DPP’s Central Executive Committee, yesterday launched a boycott of the media conglomerate following a concerted attack by the group’s electronic and print media outlets on those who have publicly voiced opposition to the merger, including Huang Kuo-chang (黃國昌), a researcher at Academia Sinica.
The group’s vicious attack is no different to the kind of thing thugs would do, Hung said, adding that he was launching a boycott of politicians, writers and academics to refuse to write for the media group or to be interviewed or quoted by the its media operations.