HONG KONG — A light regulatory touch and political capital for infrastructure investments have made Hong Kong Asia’s regional leader in broadcasting, according to John Tsang, financial secretary for the territory’s executive council.
Tsang, who was speaking at the Cable and Satellite Broadcasting Assn. of Asia conference in Hong Kong on Wednesday, pointed out that the absence of foreign investment limits censorship, and lack of restrictions on subscription rates had earned the city state top marks in Casbaa’s recent study on pay TV regulation in the Asia Pacific region.
“We prefer to leave it to the market and the consumers to decide. Our motto is: ‘Market leads and Government facilitates,’ ” said Tsang.
Tsang also highlighted the rapid penetration of free-to-air digital terrestrial TV broadcasting in the territory.
The rollout of terrestrial base stations has been a feather in the cap for authorities, with coverage reaching 75% of the territory (25% household penetration) since the launch 10 months ago.
Tsang took the opportunity to tub-thump Hong Kong’s Innovation and Technology Fund, a $450 million pot for new communication technologies.
He ended the session with an invitation for foreign companies to relocate to Hong Kong, citing the Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement with China as a means for them to get their products and services on to the Mainland.