Television

News Corp affiliate in China under scanner: 'WSJ' report

MUMBAI: A News Corp affiliate in China is currently under investigation over its leasing of satellite television channels in the country, says a Wall Street Journal report.

The company, Beijing Rejian Hulian Advertisement Co, also known as Beijing Hotkey Internet, was set up by News Corp in 2000 to collect fees from satellite channel leasing and local cable operators, the paper said. In China, local cable operators are not permitted to broadcast foreign programming without government permission.

Chinese broadcast regulations insist that only high-end hotels and residential compounds can air foreign channels such as CNN and movie channel HBO. Then there was a 2002 ruling which said foreign channels must sell and transmit signals only through a Chinese state-run company, China International Television Corp.

The newspaper has quoted an official at the Beijing Industrial and Commercial Bureau's Dongcheng district branch, which has jurisdiction over News Corp's Beijing office, as saying, "Beijing Hotkey is under investigation to determine whether it leased satellite channels illegally."

Under its arrangement with China International Television Corp, News Corp is committed to give the state-run Chinese company about 30 per cent of its profit from leasing its channels in China. Cable operators paying in yuan were asked to remit payment to Beijijng Hotkey, the paper said, quoting a former News Corp employee.

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