Phoenix Satellite TV, established in Hong Kong in 1996, has always used its status as a media outlet in Hong Kong to cover up its ties with Beijing. However, the latest high-level personnel change at Phoenix TV suggests that CCP party officials are officially directly in charge of Phoenix TV.
China Caixin.com reported that Sun Yusheng, the former deputy director of CCTV, will become the vice president of Phoenix Satellite TV. Prior to this, there was unconfirmed news that the former deputy director of the Shanghai International Communication Office would take over as the chairman of Phoenix Satellite TV. According to the organization announcement, Sun Yusheng will be responsible for Phoenix TV program planning, style, content, production, and coordination among its various channels. Caixin also quoted people familiar with the matter as saying that Sun is expected to become the CEO of Phoenix Satellite TV in the future.
Hu Ping, the Chief Editor of Beijing Spring magazine said that Phoenix played two roles in the past. One was to be an outlet to provide propaganda to overseas audiences. It portrays itself as an unbiased media, but, when needed, it would defend and speak for the CCP. The second was that Beijing does not control it as tightly as other media, although people on the mainland can also watch it. In the past, the CCP could not directly exercise its control in Hong Kong out of the concern for the “one country, two systems” policy but now it no longer needs to do so.
Source: Radio Free Asia, February 25, 2021