Taiwan Shuts Pro-China TV Channel in Battle over Press Freedom

Taiwan Shuts Pro-China TV Channel in Battle over Press Freedom

Taiwan’s broadcast regulator has ordered the closure of one of the island’s most ardently pro-China cable news networks following a monthslong battle over journalistic standards and freedom of the press.

The National Communications Commission will not renew the broadcast license of Chung T’ien News, its chairman Chen Yaw-shyang said at a briefing in Taipei on Wednesday. The station had repeatedly violated broadcast regulations, including frequent failure to fact check news items and the network owner’s involvement in the editorial process, Chen said.

“The key issue is its largest shareholder Tsai Eng-meng is directly and indirectly involved in the production of news programs,” Chen said. “We believe it’s unable to improve its poor operations by solving the structural problem of its shareholder’s involvement.”

Tsai Eng-meng is Taiwan’s second-richest man with a fortune worth $5.6 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaire’s Index. The chairman of Shanghai-based rice cracker and beverage maker Want Want China Holdings, he has long been a vocal advocate of Taiwan’s unification with China.