Asia

Hong Kong profile - Media

  • 26 April 2016
  • From the section Asia
Man reads a newspaper in Hong Kong Image copyright Getty Images

Hong Kong is home to many of Asia's biggest media players. The territory has one of the world's largest film industries and is a major centre for broadcasting and publishing.

It has kept its editorially-dynamic media, in contrast to the rest of China where official control over broadcasting is pervasive. Freedom of speech and of the press are enshrined in the Basic Law, Hong Kong's mini-constitution.

But there are worries about Beijing's influence. The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has said more than half of Hong Kong's media owners have roles in China's political assemblies, making them reluctant to anger Beijing.

The CPJ also cited self-censorship, financial and physical threats against the media, and legislative steps that could hinder investigative reporting.

Free-to-air TV is dominated by private station Television Broadcasts (TVB).

Public Radio Television Hong Kong (RTHK) was established under British rule in 1928 and operates as a government department.

By late 2015 Hong Kong had 15 free-to-air channels and 401 subscription networks.

Most households subscribe to multichannel pay-TV. International and pan-Asian broadcasters are based in Hong Kong, including News Corp's STAR TV.

BBC World Service is carried 24 hours via RTHK Radio 6 (675 kHz).

Multitude of papers

Hong Kong has long been a major centre for print journalism and has a vibrant newspaper industry. Local papers are known for their political leanings, with most being either pro-Beijing or pro-democracy.

There are scores of Chinese-language titles and a handful of English-language dailies.

E-commerce giant Alibaba owns the prominent English-language title South China Morning Post.

There are no reports of widespread online censorship or filtering and top international social media are in common use.

Chinese platforms WeChat and Sina Weibo are popular, but not as much as WhatsApp and Facebook.

The press

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Nearly three quarters of Hong Kong residents are internet users

Television

Radio

  • Radio-TV Hong Kong (RTHK) - government-funded, operates seven networks in English, Cantonese, Mandarin
  • Commercial Radio - operates CR1, CR2 networks in Cantonese and mediumwave (AM) station AM 864
  • Metro Broadcast - operates Metro Showbiz, Metro Finance and English-language Metro Plus