Hong Kong profile - Media

  • 21 March 2014
  • From the section Asia
Man reads a newspaper in Hong Kong

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.

However, there are worries about Beijing's influence. In 2014, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) 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 stations Television Broadcasts (TVB) and Asia Television (ATV), both of which follow a pro-Beijing editorial line.

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

In October 2013, the government licensed two more free-to-air TVs, Fantastic TV and HK Entertainment Network. Hong Kong TV Network (HKTV), which had been widely regarded as the best-prepared applicant, was denied a licence. This triggered a major row.

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.

Influential daily Ming Pao became mired in controversy in early 2014 over the replacement of its chief editor by a pro-Beijing editor from Malaysia.

Hong Kong internet users enjoy some of the world's highest download speeds. More than 83% of households had broadband access by late 2013. There are no reports of widespread censorship or filtering.

Among the most popular sites are Yahoo, Facebook, YouTube and Google Hong Kong.

The press

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



  • 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