The National Communications Commission (NCC) yesterday said that Homeplus Digital on Monday submitted a new application to fill the vacant Channel 52 with Chinese Television System, adding that it would review the application after the Lunar New Year holiday.
“We will consult with local government officials and review [the application] based on four main aspects: Whether such a channel lineup change will facilitate market competition, safeguard consumer interest, ensure content diversity and protect other public interests,” NCC Vice Chairman and spokesman Wong Po-tsung (翁柏宗) said.
The commission on Nov. 18 last year rejected a license renewal application from CTi News, which was broadcast on Channel 52. The spot has been vacant since the channel’s license expired on Dec. 13 last year.
Homeplus had previously applied to have Global News take over Channel 52, but it retracted the application without explanation.
The commission on Monday rejected an application from four cable operators to fill the spot with CNN News or France 24’s English-language channel, saying that placing English-language news channels in the domestic news block (channels 49 to 58) does not fit the viewing habits of the nation’s cable subscribers.
In related news, the number of cable service subscribers in the nation dropped to a record low of 4.86 million in the fourth quarter of last year, down 2.16 percent from 2019, NCC data showed.
About 76.5 percent of the subscribers belonged to the nation’s five major multiple system operators — Kbro Co, Taiwan Mobile Broadband, Homeplus Digital, Taiwan Broadband Communications (TBC) and Taiwan Optical Platform — the commission said in a report.
Homeplus Digital lost the most subscribers in the fourth quarter, down by 30,687 from the same quarter in 2019. It was followed by Kbro and TBC, which lost about 22,800 and 18,500 subscribers respectively.
The number of subscribers to Chunghwa Telecom’s multimedia-on-demand service also fell 0.62 percent to 2.06 million, the commission’s data showed.
The Council of Agriculture yesterday signed a Taiwan-Australia Agricultural Cooperation Implementation clause to open a new export market for the nation’s pineapple crop. The clause is an addition to existing cooperation measures, it said. China on Friday last week abruptly announced that it would suspend pineapple imports from Taiwan starting on Monday, on grounds that it had on multiple occasions discovered “harmful organisms” in shipments of the fruit. The public and private sectors have since joined hands to purchase the local fruit to help the nation’s pineapple farmers. Canberra has requested that all pineapples for export to Australia have their crown buds removed,
A Tainan taxi driver is the Taiwanese with the longest name, after he last month changed it so that it now contains 25 characters, the Anping District Household Registration Office said. The 47-year-old man, formerly known as Huang Hsin-hsiang (黃鑫翔), applied for the name change on Feb. 26, in the hope that it would bring him good luck. His new name starts with Huang Da-lan (黃大嵐) and adds another 22 characters, meaning “Huang Da-lan is the blessed darling and sweetheart of the god of joy, god of wealth, god of misfortune, god of Earth and all the gods,” it said. With
Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical Group might have lost its right to distribute the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for COVID-19 and the ability to fulfill a contract in Taiwan, civic groups Taiwan Citizen Front and the Economic Democracy Union said yesterday. In a radio interview on Feb. 17, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), head of the Central Epidemic Command Center, said that last year, Taiwan was close to signing a contract to buy doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, but that the deal was halted at the last moment, with some speculating that Chinese interference was to blame. On Monday last week, the center
POSSIBLE SIDE EFFECTS: As China attempted to promote its national image through humanitarian aid, its targets include New Southbound Policy countries, an expert said China’s “vaccine diplomacy,” which has become central to its foreign policy this year, might hamper Taiwan’s efforts to build relations with developing countries, an expert said. “China, as one of the few countries other than the United Kingdom and the United States to have produced a COVID-19 vaccine, will certainly use that as a diplomatic tool,” said Kung Shan-son (龔祥生), an assistant research fellow at the government-funded Institute for National Defense and Security Research. Beijing’s major goals in its “vaccine diplomacy” are to promote its national image through humanitarian aid and to solidify its relations with countries that are included in its