Tue, Jun 18, 2019 - Page 3 News List

Pro-China media boycott urged

HUANG KUO-CHANG:The NPP lawmaker said that while the ‘Liberty Times’ has a bigger readership base, government agencies tend to subscribe to the ‘China Times’

By Ann Maxon  /  Staff reporter

New Power Party Legislator Huang Kuo-chang illustrates a point at a news conference in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: Liao Chen-huei, Taipei Times

The government must stop purchasing products from media outlets that publish propaganda from Beijing, New Power Party (NPP) Legislator Huang Kuo-chang (黃國昌) said yesterday, adding that tens of millions of New Taiwan dollars is spent by government agencies every year on pro-China media companies.

“There is no reason that taxpayer dollars should be used to fund a foreign state’s proxy in Taiwan,” Huang told a news conference at the party’s headquarters in Taipei.

Unnecessary purchases from media outlets that serve Beijing’s interests go against the government’s goal of fighting Chinese infiltration and media manipulation, he said.

Want Want China Times Media Group — which owns the Chinese-language China Times newspaper and CtiTV — last year received more than NT$172 million (US$5.46 million) for tender bids from central and local governments, Huang said, citing statistics that he collated.

The number has been increasing since 2008, when the group earned more than NT$14 million from government bids, he said.

In addition, the central government has spent a disproportionately large amount on office purchases from Want Want, he said.

For example, 21 percent of central government agencies are subscribers to the China Times, while only 15 percent are subscribed to the Liberty Times (the Taipei Times’ sister newspaper), Huang added.

However, the China Times accounts for only 14.1 percent of the newspaper market, compared with the Liberty Times’ 42.2 percent, he said.

Although there are no laws banning purchases from media outlets biased toward Beijing, the central and local governments could at least not buy from them when they have a choice, Huang said.

The public should be more aware of media outlets that fawn on Beijing and join a march against pro-China media outlets he is to hold with Internet celebrity Holger Chen (陳之漢) in Taipei on Sunday, Huang said.

On Sunday evening, he launched a crowdfunding campaign for the march and reached the goal of NT$1.8 million in about an hour, Huang said, adding that more than 300 people have volunteered to help with the event.

He has invited political party leaders and presidential hopefuls to attend the march and so far Hon Hai Precision Industry Co chairman Terry Gou (郭台銘) and former New Taipei City mayor Eric Chu (朱立倫) have said they would not attend, while NPP Chairman Chiu Hsien-chih (邱顯智) said he would, Huang said.

The march is to begin on Ketagalan Boulevard at 3pm on Sunday and end at 5:30pm, the NPP said.

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