Hong Kong’s television industry is attracting mainland investors because of its relatively high degree of freedom.
Allan Zeman, an independent non-executive director of Television Broadcasts Ltd. (TVB, 00511.HK), calls these investments commercial decisions targeting opportunities from the integration of television and the internet.
Zeman, best known for developing Lan Kwai Fong, Hong Kong’s trendy nightlife district in Central, told the Hong Kong Economic Journal that TVB is responding to these developments by producing content that appeals to younger audiences.
He said mainland investment will not lead to the marginalization of local content in favor of Chinese-flavored productions.
Zeman said he was surprised by reports that Asian Television Ltd. (ATV) has managed to secure an investment from mainland tycoon Si Rongbin, chairman of Qingdao Sino Group.
Reports say Si has agreed to buy the 52 percent stake of David Wong Ben Koon and Wang Zheng for HK$1 billion (US$129 million), giving him control of the troubled broadcaster.
ATV’s broadcast license will end on April 1 next year after the government refused an extension.
Zeman said Wang had invited him to invest in ATV but he declined because the situation had become “messy”.
Zeman served as chairman of Hong Kong Ocean Park for more than 10 years.
Translation by Vey Wong
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