IFJ Concerned by Threat to Media Diversity in Taiwan


 The International Federation of

Journalists (IFJ) is deeply concerned by the decision of the Republic of China

(Taiwan)’s National Communications Commission (NCC) to approve the expansion of

the services of media giant Want Want China Times Group, in Taipei on July 25,



Want Want China Broadband, a

subsidiary of the Want Want China Times Group, already owns several newspapers,

magazines, and both terrestrial and satellite television stations in Taiwan. It

is reported that the new expansion would see the company purchase an additional

10 cable television companies for TWD 76 billion (approximately USD 2.6 billion),

allowing the company to secure 23 per cent of Taiwan’s market of cable

subscribers. The purchase would enable the company to control one-third of

Taiwan’s media market.


On May 7, the NCC held a hearing to

consider the the WantWant China Times Group’s proposed expansion. During the

hearing, the Group’s Chairperson Tsai Eng-meng indirectly admitted that the

Group had made editorial compromises. According to several local media reports,

Tsai’s media companies have already accepted advertising revenue from the

Mainland without notifying its readers.


On July 25, the NCC approved the

application of the media giant with three conditions. The conditions, as

explained by NCC Chairperson Su Herng, include that the Want Want China Times

Group’s Chairperson Tsai Eng-meng and his family must not be involved in the

management of CTiTV’s news channel and that China Television’s news channel

must amend its operational plan to become a non-news channel.


Taiwan Journalists Association (TJA),

an IFJ affiliate, several civil organizations and journalism scholars have criticised

the NCC’s decision, claiming it could jeopardize press freedom and

diversification in Taiwan.


According to the section 62(1) of

Taiwan’s Budget Act the Government and

its institutions are prevented from making purchasing that jeopardize press

freedom. However no similar regulations exist in other media related



“Although the NCC has imposed

conditions on the approval of the expansion of the Want Want China Times

Group’s media ownership, the decision still raises cause for concern”, IFJ

Asia-Pacific said.


“Press freedom and democracy in Taiwan

are best served by media pluralism and editorial independence, and it remains

unclear whether this decision works against these forces”.


IFJ urges the Government of Taiwan to

review the NCC’s decision, and amend all relevant media laws to ensure press

freedom and media diversity.


We also urge Taiwan’s media to continue

to exercise oversight over the operations of the Group’s operations in the




further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +61 2 9333 0950 



IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 131 countries



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