World Organization to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong (WOIPFG): Investigation Into the Background of Phoenix TV
(Clearwisdom.net) Phoenix Satellite Television Holdings Limited (Phoenix TV) is a publicly listed company, registered in Hong Kong. On March 31, 1996, Phoenix TV was established as a joint venture with "Hong Kong Star Television Limited" (STAR TV) of the Murdoch "News Corp," the Liu Changle-controlled "Today's Asia Ltd," and "Huaying International Corporation Ltd" that is subordinate to CCTV. Phoenix TV took over the Chinese Channel of the former STAR TV, and Liu Changle was appointed as Chairman of the Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for Phoenix TV.
STAR TV, which is 1000wned by News Corp, and Today's Asia each have a 45take in the venture. Huaying International, which is a subsidiary of CCTV, owns 10%. As CCTV prohibits jointly operating its media with foreign countries, CCTV sold all its shares in Phoenix TV to the Bank of China, and Huaying International therefore became a wholly-owned subsidiary company of the Bank of China. On June 30, 2000, Phoenix TV was listed on the Growth Enterprise Market (GEM) on the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Ltd. It subsequently changed its name to Phoenix Satellite Television Holdings Limited.
After the public shares are were, Liu Changle and Murdoch each own 37.6tock in the company, Bank of China's Huaying International owns 8.35%, and the public investors hold 16.45%. Liu Changle is currently chairman and CEO for the company.
During the 2002/2003 fiscal year, the Chinese State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT) approved Phoenix InfoNews Channel to land in mainland China. As Liu Changle said, "As of today, all the foreign media, with the exception of English BBC, CNN and NHK, the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television has mandated that no other media outlet is permitted to make news programs, but it bent the rules for 'Phoenix'."
Phoenix TV programs' pro-communist stance
In fact, Phoenix TV is hardly known in its country of registration, Hong Kong. Liu Changle himself admitted, "In terms of Hong Kong's television industry, ATV and TVB are basically in a pattern of having thirty-seventy ratio or twenty-eighty ratio." TVB is an established station and has a large number of popular actors and actresses, producing TV dramas. More importantly, it is the inertia reception of TV that is very difficult to change."
In Taiwan, where the television industry is highly competitive, Phoenix TV meets with the same difficulty in getting high ratings. So as the only "Hong Kong TV Station" that can officially be broadcast into mainland China, this factor has become the major reason that Phoenix TV survives, because it does not have any real competition at all. The people in mainland China also mistake it as being a real television station in Hong Kong. However, taking a look at its program contents, just in terms of the information news that it is so proud of, its news program does not cover any sensitive news at all. Its news programs can only deceive TV viewers in mainland China, and it is also too shallow to satisfy Hong Kong's business people who are eager to keep abreast of political and economic trends and inside information on China.
Its questionable political background affiliations cause a lot of business people from Hong Kong and Taiwan to be fearful of placing advertisements on it. It can only support itself by relying on ads from domestic Chinese manufactures. Phoenix TV does not broadcast sensitive news, even if there is a little piece of sensitive news that has been shortened and carefully edited, it is broadcast from the angle and viewpoint that is in favor of the mainland regime. The view point of the current event program on Phoenix TV is consistent with that of CCTV.
Background information on Phoenix TV's Shareholders
Liu Changle was born in 1951 in Shanghai, and graduated from Beijing Broadcasting Institute. After graduation in 1983, he was assigned to the Central People's Broadcasting Station to work as a military journalist. He has subsequently worked as a reporter, an editor, a news commentator and at the senior management level, as an editorial director. On many occasions, he participated in reporting and commenting on important state events and other major events. While working at the Central People's Broadcasting Station, Liu Changle held his position under the People's Liberation Army (PLA). According to a statement made by Liu Changle while being interviewed by the Washington Post, he joined the army when he was 19 years old and became a colonel in the PLA in the late 80's.  In 1988, Liu moved abroad. From documents open to the public in China, Liu Changle obtained his wealth this way: "Liu Changle worked as journalist at the Central People's Broadcasting Station. He moved abroad in 1988, and in 1990 he settled down in Hong Kong. After that, Liu Changle 'struck it rich' in petroleum investments and the real estate business. He later withdrew from the then booming real estate business, thereby avoiding the property market downturn afterwards that went on for a long period of time." No one, including Liu Changle himself, has ever revealed how his income as a journalist at the Central People's Broadcasting Station in the 80's could enable him to engage in, and make a profit from the petroleum and real estate business within four years of moving abroad.
Rupert Murdoch's News Corp: James Murdoch, Australian News Corporation. On March 23, 2001, according to the Chinese government's standard, during a business conference in Los Angeles, USA, James Murdoch of the Australian News Corporation slandered Falun Gong. He also accused some Western media of writing only "negative" reports on China. In a public statement made eight years ago, his father Rupert Murdoch told Chinese officials in Beijing that Star TV is a weapon that can be used to deal with the autocratic regimes. So it is generally believed that James Murdoch's remark was made simply to curry favor with the Chinese Communist Party, so as to obtain business opportunities. 
Zhou Yinan is originally from Beijing. As a Huaying International Ltd. subordinate to CCTV, he entered Phoenix TV in 1996, and held 10tock in the venture. Under the title, Investor Representative, he was appointed as a vice-chairman to the Board of Directors and also concurrently worked as the Operating Director of Phoenix TV. In 1999, CCTV sold all its shares in Phoenix TV to the Bank of China, and Huaying International also became a wholly-funded subsidiary company under the Bank of China. After that, Zhou Yinan left Phoenix TV, and created his own advertising company in Shenzhen City.
Background information on other high-ranking personnel in Phoenix TV
Regarding Phoenix TV, except for President Liu Changle who has a Chinese official background and Huaying Company's China-funded background, all other high-ranking personnel, without exception, once served either as Party or government officials in mainland China.
Wang Jiyan: Executive vice president and head of Chinese Channel for Phoenix TV. He used to serve as the head of the Television Department at the Beijing Broadcasting Institute for over ten years, and as vice-president of the institute for six years. He is one of the five-person group that studies overseas media at the Ministry of Radio, Film and Television. He is one of the main TV producers in mainland China. He is in charge of program planning, programming style, program content, programming, and coordinating channel management, and concurrently serves as the head of the Chinese Channel.
Shao Wenguang: Head of the European Channel for Phoenix TV. He is China's former minister-level attaché to the United States, and is currently the bureau level official. He is an international public relations expert.
Cui Qiang: Executive Vice-President of Administration in the company. He graduated from the Information Department of Fudan University in Shanghai, and worked at the Central People's Broadcasting Station for ten years. He once worked as the managing director at Beijing Tianhua International Culture and Art Ltd. Co. After entering Phoenix TV, he was put in charge of overall daily operations, external public relations and publicity, and helps set up and implement the company's development strategy.
Yu Tonghao: Executive Vice-President, graduated from the Department of Politics of People's University of China, and has served as head of Guangdong Broadcasting Station, head of Zhujiang Economic Broadcasting Station, Vice-Editor-in-Chief for Guangdong TV Station, Vice-General Manager of the International Economic and Technological Cooperation of Chinese Radio and Television Corporation, as well as the Director of China Radio and Television Association. He is currently in charge of Phoenix's advertising and marketing network.
Phoenix TV is one of the important components in the propaganda campaign that Jiang Zemin's clique used in its persecution of Falun Gong
On July 20, 1999, Jiang Zemin's clique begin persecuting Falun Gong. Two days later, on July 22, 1999, CCTV and nationwide television stations simultaneously aired "The Men and His Deeds" produced by Wuhan TV Station. It was the Chinese Communist Party's only anti-Falun Gong TV program at the time. On the afternoon of July 23, the host of Phoenix TV Dou Wentao was urgently called back to Hong Kong while he was attending a large-scale live performance in Yibin, Sichuan Province. The order given to him from Phoenix TV stated, "Urgent! Be quick to make a two-episode special program about Falun Gong." In only six short hours, the TV station hurriedly compiled a three-hour program titled "Big Exposure on Falun Gong."
The content of this program was similar to CCTV's "The Men and His Deeds." Because Phoenix TV appears to be a regular television station in Hong Kong, TV viewers in mainland China mistakenly thought that its report was unbiased and relatively objective, and were psychologically turned against the victims, causing Falun Gong practitioners to suffer even greater persecution. The program was officially aired on the morning of July 25, becoming one of the important components in the propaganda campaign that Jiang Zemin's clique used to demonize Falun Gong early on. On July 31, less than a week after its initial broadcast, the program had been made into an English version VCD and DVD that was distributed at home and abroad. After that, Phoenix TV produced a book, and an adaption of the program, using the same title as the program. Liu Changle and Cui Qing wrote the preface for the book.
According to what the host of the program Dou Wentao said, Phoenix TV started conducting interviews and collecting materials about Falun Gong right after Falun Gong practitioners' appeal incident on April 25, 1999. This coincided with Jiang Zemin and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Central Committee issuing a series of remarks, documents and instructions on the "Falun Gong issue."
On the evening of April 25, former CCP Secretary General Jiang Zemin wrote a letter to the CCP Central Committee Political Bureau Standing Committee.
On April 27, the General Office of the CCP Central Committee issued a notice regarding the issuance of "Comrade Jiang Zemin's Letter to the Politburo Standing Committee and Other Leading Comrades."
On May 8, Jiang Zemin gave instructions to the CCP Central Committee Political Bureau, Secretariat, and members of the Central Military Commission, after that, General Office of the CCP Central Committee issued a notice to print and distribute the instruction (Central Office Issue  No.19).
On May 28, the document (Central Office Issue  No.19) was delivered to the Provincial Standing Committee.
Around June 3, the Provincial Party Committees issued a document requiring implementation of the document (Central Office Issue  No.19) in the province;
After June 11, the document's direction was communicated to the county and regimental level [officials].
On June 7, Jiang Zemin made a speech at a meeting of the Central Politburo regarding paying close attention to dealing with and resolving the "Falun Gong" issue.
On June 10, the CCP Central Committee Leading Group Dealing with Falun Gong Issues and its administrative office, the 610 Office were set up.
On June 13, the General Office of the CCP Central Committee issued a notice regarding the issuance of "Comrade Jiang Zemin's speech at a meeting of the Central Committee Politburo regarding paying close attention to deal with and resolve 'Falun Gong' issues." (Central Office Issue  No. 30)
As the state-run media in mainland China have not made a single positive or neutral report on Falun Gong since April 25, 1999, Phoenix TV, with its strong CCP's official background and the CCP-media background, could not have been ignorant of the fact that the regime would soon launch the persecution campaign against Falun Gong. When editing the program on July 24, 1999, the television station had over 100 original tapes. So this presents two possible explanations of why Phoenix TV produced the slanderous program, one was that it had received orders from the CCP Central Committee, the other was that it was tipped off and took the initiative to make the program to please the regime. The CCP's mouthpiece media, Guang Ming Daily  and Beijing Youth Daily  both reported that Phoenix TV made and broadcast the program entitled, "Big Exposure on Falun Gong."
The mouthpiece nature of Phoenix TV is manifested in its consistency with the CCP's stance in its news coverage
The stance of Phoenix TV news reports is to present a mainstream stance with alternative viewpoints. Many viewers believe that Phoenix TV dares to cover some news that the other media in China dare not cover, and that the hosts of Phoenix TV likewise dare to say things that TV hosts in China dare not say. This is an important reason that many mainland viewers like to watch Phoenix programs. But actually this is a wrong impression. Occasionally, there are some remarks that are not so "pleasant to hear," but they all fell into the scope of "offering suggestions and contributing strategies" to the Party and the country, did not go against the regime's news propaganda policy or propaganda standards. In terms of the subject selection for the news programs, regarding any sensitive news in China, as long as the central-level guiding media such as Xinhua News Agency, CCTV or People's Daily, do not cover it, Phoenix TV would not report it. But so long as the central-level guiding media cover some sensitive news, Phoenix TV would definitely report it.
On July 1, 2004, over 500,000 people in Hong Kong took part in the Grand Democracy Parade, while pro-communist groups held an activity that celebrated Hong Kong's return to China with 60,000 people attending. Phoenix TV, along with all the other media in mainland China, only reported on the pro-communist celebration, but never mentioned the Grand Democracy Parade.  As for the relationship between Phoenix TV and the official CCTV, Liu Changle has made it very clear, "CCTV is elder brother, and we are younger brother."
Phoenix TV's Special website has its link on the slandering-Falun-Gong-page of the China Youth League website, second only to China's anti-evil cult website link.
(World Organization to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong, written on May 31, 2005, modified on November 9, 2005)
1. "Phoenix TV": Caught in the Competitive Strategy
2. "South Net-21 Century Economic Report" on July 27, 2001, reporter Chen Qiu reported from Hong Kong and Shenzhe, "President of Phoenix TV reveals Phoenix' creation process and operating mode."
3. "China Social Science Publisher." Phoenix Tours the Phoenix Station---Interview with Chairman of Board of Directors for Phoenix Satellite Television Ltd. Co. Liu Changle.
4. "Wild Grass Vanguard" - Background on Phoenix TV
5. Washington Post Foreign Service. "Making Waves, Carefully, on the Air in China, Head of Private TV Network Curries Party's Favor While Testing Limits" By Philip P. Pan. Monday, September 19, 2005; A01.
6. "News Corp. Heir Woos China With Show of Support" by Evelyn Iritani, Los Angeles Times, March 23, 2001.
7. "Free press and Falun Gong blasted as Murdoch woos Chinese deal" by Damien McElroy ("The Scotsman," March 26, 2001)
8. China Internet Information Center (UK EIU Information Center, May 24, 2001)
9. Xinhua Net, June 1, 2004, Brief Introduction to Zhou Yinan
10. Zhongxin Net, September 22, 2000, Re-recognize Phoenix
11. WOIPFG investigative report on Wuhan City TV Broadcast Station Head Zhao Zhizhen participating in the persecution of Falun Gong. http://www.zhuichaguoji.org/cn /index.php?option=content&task=category§ionid=14&id=77&Itemid=48
12. Beijing Youth Daily, July 31, 1999, "Dou Wentao Has a Discovery." "On the afternoon of July 23, I was hosting a large-scale live performance in Yibin. As soon as I arrived in Sichuan, I received an urgent phone call from the television station, "Quickly return. Take the plane at 8:15 a.m. tomorrow." After returning Hong Kong, I traveled directly to the TV station without having lunch. 'Urgent! Be quick to make a two-episode special program on Falun Gong,' was the brief instruction I received at the time."
13. "Phoenix TV--Phoenix Bookroom." Following the release of Phoenix TV's program "Big Exposure on Falun Gong," it adapted the content and published a book with the same name as the TV program.
14. file of WOIPFG
15. Guangming Net-Digest, August 12, 1999
16. Beijing Youth Daily, July 31, 1999
17. ChinaTV Net Media Website--Media people--Looking at Phoenix through a Screen--Deciphering Phoenix TV's path to success - mainstream stance, alternative expressions. By Li Zhijian, August 3, 2004.
18. The Epoch Times, December 30, 2003, "2003 The Epoch Times' Ten News that Chinese People Are Concerned About"
19. Renmin Net reprinted Jiangnan Times (No.16 section, on November 2, 2004), "CCTV is our elder brother, we are younger brother."
20. China Youth League Website
Category: Falun Dafa in the Media