Reporter Who Denied Working for China Absolutely Works for China
China’s propagandists have made their way into President Donald Trump’s press conferences on the Chinese coronavirus.
Last night after being asked a question by a Hong Kong Phoenix TV reporter, Trump questioned who she worked for, and if they were owned by the Chinese government. She denied that she worked for China, and said that the company was privately owned.
Hong Kong Phoenix TV Reporter: Are you cooperating with China?
TRUMP: Who are you with? Who owns that [station]? Is it owned by China?
Reporter: No, it's not, it's privately-owned company.
(It actually is owned largely by corporations held by the Chinese government.) pic.twitter.com/0FEBfZiA1T
— August Takala (@RudyTakala) April 6, 2020
And she’s “technically” correct. The company is private…. but shares the Chinese government as an investor.
As the Daily Caller’s Chuck Ross explains: While Phoenix TV is not wholly owned by the Chinese government, its content is widely considered to be sympathetic to Beijing.
The Hoover Institution regards it as a “quasi-official” news outlet with links to the Chinese government’s ministry of state security.
Freedom House, a pro-democracy think tank, said in a 2017 report that Phoenix TV is owned by a former Chinese military officer with close ties to Beijing officials. “Phoenix TV’s coverage is typically favorable to the CCP [Chinese Communist Party],” the report says. “Moreover, over the past two years, it has been used as an outlet for airing televised confessions by various detained CCP critics, most notably all five Hong Kong booksellers abducted by Chinese security forces in late 2015.”
As for their ownership breakdown, founding chairman Liu Changle, a “former People’s Libertarian Army propaganda official who is close to senior Chinese government leaders,” owns 37.1% of the shares. Another 20% of the network is owned by Extra Step Investments Limited, which is owned by China Mobile Hong Kong, which is owned by China mobile…. which is owned by (you guessed it) the Chinese government.
In other words, while the Chinese government themselves technically don’t solely have majority control of the network, it is majority owned by those holding their interests.