The Deputy Secretary for Justice, Mr Cheung Kwok-kwan, met the media with the Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury, Mr Christopher Hui; the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Mr Algernon Yau; and the Secretary for Labour and Welfare, Mr Chris Sun, after attending the Ante Chamber exchange session at the Legislative Council this morning (February 15). Following is the transcript of remarks:
Reporter: Firstly, about the announcement of the requirements on national education, national identity and national security programmes every week on radio and television stations, do the television and radio stations need to have these shows in any particular formats or placed in any particular programmes? How will the Government measure compliance? Also, on the suspension of the Cable TV's pay TV licence, is the Government worried that its closure will affect the scope of competition in the sector? Lastly on Article 23, Secretary Cheung has mentioned that the justice department is working full speed ahead towards the Article 23 legislation. Can you elaborate a little bit more on what that means? Does that mean the Government is actually very close to pushing the Article 23 legislation as per the constitutional requirement? Thank you.
Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development: Thank you for the question. Regarding the termination of the pay TV service by i-Cable, it is clearly a commercial decision. It is all according to the market requirement and for the time being, there is still a pay TV licensee available in the market.
Regarding the requirement for promoting national security, (national education and national identity), it is a general licensing requirement, and it is subject to the broadcasting companies to come up with their individual programmes. According to the licensing requirement, we can have a very close monitoring on the delivery and we will review from time to time.
Deputy Secretary for Justice: As regards Article 23, you must be aware that the Chief Executive has made it clear in the past and yesterday that the position of the Government remains unchanged. We will work hard on the preparation work of Article 23 as soon as possible, closely following the directions and decisions of the Chief Executive.
Reporter: A follow-up on Cable TV. With less competition, is it harmful for the pay TV market or the media market in general?
Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development: I think the market itself will tell whether the pay TV market is necessary, and the whole broadcasting landscape has changed from time to time, so it is all subject to commercial decisions for them to continue or terminate their services.
Reporter: But is it affecting competition or the media landscape in general?
Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development: I think the market is very open, and there is always a chance for people who are interested to get into the pay TV market. There is no restriction at all.
(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript.)
Ends/Wednesday, February 15, 2023