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SCED speaks to the media

     Following is the transcript of remarks by the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Mr Edward Yau, at a media session on the withdrawal of domestic free television programme service licence application by Phoenix Hong Kong Television (Phoenix) and trade issues after attending a radio programme today (August 19): 

Reporter:  Regarding Phoneix TV's latest decision to withdraw the domestic free television programme service licence application, do you find that the broadcasting industry is getting harder to survive in Hong Kong? On other matters, the United States (US) is launching a formal investigation into China's intellectual property practices, do you think Hong Kong will be affected?

Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development: The free TV market has undergone some changes over the past few years. On the one hand, the Government has issued two additional licenses whereby two companies have come into the market and started broadcasting. They are providing additional services. On the other hand, there are existing applicants, who based on their own assessment of the market situation might be taking different decisions. In that regard, I have to respect their own market assessment. Ultimately, it is a commercial market. We of course will continue to monitor the general situation and ensure that the services being provided (in the market) are based on the licensing system.

     Regarding the US' attempt to invoke 301 measures against China, I think this is evolving. Whether this is entirely a trade or political matter, and whether there will be consequential actions taken by the other parties,  I think we need to assess the overall impact. Hong Kong of course is a separate trading and customs territory. Also, we hold firmly to our belief of free trade and removal of barriers. Therefore, we will continue to watch this and also assess whether there will be an impact on Hong Kong. Hong Kong of course attaches great importance to intellectual property protection and maintains our stance on free trade and removing any unnecessary barriers against trade.

(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript.)

Ends/Saturday, August 19, 2017
Issued at HKT 13:02