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Campaign Against Pro-China Media Monopoly in Taiwan Turns Global

After the Taiwan-based media company Want Want China Times Group acquired 60% of the country's second largest cable television service this July, it continued to expand this November, acquiring 32% of the country’s best-selling newspaper Apple Daily [zh], from Hong Kong-based Next Media Ltd.

It is obvious that the pro-China chairman of Want Want China Times Group, Tsai Eng-Meng, aims to extend his influence in Taiwan and its monopoly in media is generating a lot of anxiety among local Taiwanese who are worried about Chinese government intervention in Taiwan politics.

Despite mass students’ protest against media monopoly following the latest acquisition in Taiwan, the government ignored their concerns and demands. Now overseas Taiwanese have organized an online protest across the world.

Yu-Hsi Liu, an economist, explained why she supports this protest. Use with permission.

Yu-Hsi Liu, an economist, explained why she supports this protest:

I know libertarians do not support Anti-monopoly law. But in Taiwan, anti-monopoly has different context: we are facing a exogenous force which threatens our free market and freedom. Its monopoly power does not come from a natural market process; it comes from the rent-seeking of [ruling party] KMT and CCP [Communist Party of China]. It is why we are opposing to monopoly in the media market.

A group of Taiwanese students in Egypt [zh] also explained how media monopoly would bias the audience’s viewpoint:

兩周前加薩砲火再起,西方主流媒體大多單方面的報導以色列政府所發出的聲明,而輕描淡寫報導以色列軍隊造成慘烈的平民死傷……各大西方媒體的不平衡報導是背後有無數政治和資金操作導致。……再反觀台灣,當我們的媒體被中國資金控制,為財團利益屈服,我們該如何能看見真相?

Protester holding protest slogan at Beijing Tiananmen Square. Photo from What's Next Facebook page, non-commercial use.

Two weeks ago, when the war started again in the Gaza Strip, most of the mainstream media in the western countries only reported the statement released by the Israel government and slightly mentioned the tremendous casualty caused by the military force sent from Israel[…]The bias in reports in western media is due to the manipulation of numerous politically influential entities and money[…]When we look at Taiwan, if the finance of our media is controlled by China and the media yields to the syndicate, how can we see the truth?

To protest against the influence of the Chinese government, a Taiwanese protested at Tiananmen square, a place symbolizing the civilians’ resentment and political repression in China.

Protester from Germany. Photo from What's next's Facebook Page, non commercial use.

An online protester’s note [zh] submitted from Germany may summarize the thoughts of these supporters across the world:

趁我現在還能夠說話,言論發表不會被莫名其妙撤掉,趁你現在抓不到我,趁你現在封不住我的嘴,我要大聲說:「不管你是錢賺得不夠多,還是手上握有更多更黑暗的政治利益,長遠來看,這麼做就是出賣了國家的安全,我不願意被你們控制,我不想當個愚民,我只是一個大學生,但我堅持抗議到底。」

When I still have the opportunity to speak, when my post will not be removed without any reason, when you cannot catch me, when you cannot stop me from talking, I would like to say it loud, ‘whether [you do it] because you did not earn enough money or you have more dark political motives, in the long-term, you are selling out our national security. I do not want to be controlled by you, and I do not want to be a stupid person. I am only a college student, but I will keep protesting until you change.’

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