Mon, Aug 06, 2012 - Page 3 News List

Group launches Want Want snacks boycott

DON’T WANT IT:Campaigners are urging people to boycott food produced by the media giant during ‘ghost month,’ when many offer snacks and drinks to their deceased

By Hu Ching-hui and Loa Iok-sin  /  Staff reporters

The Youth Alliance against the Media Monster, an alliance composed mostly of students against the acquisition by the Want Want China Times Group of China Network System’s (CNS) cable television services, has launched a campaign to boycott all Want Want products during “ghost month.”

The “Say No to Want Want in the Ghost Month” campaign calls on supporters to boycott snacks and drinks produced by Want Want when purchasing offerings used to pay respect to the dead during the annual event.

According to Chinese tradition, “ghost month,” which falls on the seventh month of the lunar calendar, is a period during which the spirits of the dead are permitted to leave their underworld homes and enter the human world once more.

During this month, it is customary for people to provide offering of food and drinks to the spirits, so they enjoy themselves during their one-month vacation and do not do anything bad to the living.

This year’s ghost month starts on Aug. 18 at midnight and ends on Sept. 17 at midnight.

The alliance also plans to hold brief rallies outside supermarkets to advertise the campaign at 30 different locations at the same time on Friday.

Originally one of the nation’s biggest snacks and drinks companies, the Want Want Group became a media giant after the merger of the Want Want Group with the China Times Group in 2009.

Currently, the Want Want China Times Group owns a chain of major media operations, including the China Times, China Times Weekly magazine, Want Daily, Cti-TV and China Television Co.

When Want Want expressed its intention to acquire CNS’ cable TV services, it raised concerns that the firm would command a media monopoly.

After the National Communications Commission conditionally approved the acquisition late last month, Want Want chairman Tsai Eng-meng (蔡衍明) denied he had agreed to the conditions set by the commission during negotiations with the group.

Want Want Group then triggered another public uproar after several media outlets which are owned by the group launched a campaign criticizing those opposed to the merger, and filed reports implying that Academia Sinica research fellow Huang Kuo-chang (黃國昌) had paid students to take part in an anti-Want Want demonstration, which was later proven to have had no connection to Huang.

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