Asia

Hong Kong profile - Media

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 erosion of media independence is now under way," Reporters Without Borders said in its 2017 assessment. The group highlighted the purchase of Hong Kong media by Chinese internet companies and the risk of violence faced by outspoken journalists.

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.

There are more than a dozen free-to-air TV channels, and hundreds more networks are available via multichannel and pay-TV platforms.

International and pan-Asian broadcasters are based in Hong Kong, including News Corp's STAR TV.

BBC World Service is carried overnight by RTHK's Radio 4 FM network. RTHK ended a 24-hour relay in 2017 to make way for a Chinese state radio network.

Multitude of papers

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

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

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

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

News websites are increasingly used as a way to access independent news. Content on sites including Hong Kong 01, Hong Kong Free Press and Stand News is censored in mainland China.

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

The press/news websites

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