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Hong Kong’s Digital Broadcasting Corp. to Close

Digital Broadcasting Corporation, Hong Kong’s leading Internet broadcaster, is to cease transmissions and return its license to the government.

The company said that the sector had developed unsatisfactorily and that it had failed to attract enough advertising. But the closure will once again stoke the fires under Hong Kong’s political cauldron.

It said on Monday that it will lay off 115 staff by Sept. 7, but said that it will remain on air until the government allows it to end transmissions.

The company which operates seven digital radio channels, has had a license since 2008 and took to the airwaves in 2011.

It went off air in 2012 after a dispute between founder Albert Cheng and its largest shareholder, the mainland Chinese businessman Bill Wong. Charges of political interference accounted for part of their falling out.

Broadcasting resumed in early 2013, but more recently DBC fired a quarter of its newsroom as a cost cutting measure.

It is the second digital broadcaster in Hong Kong to close down, leaving only two of four licensees still operating. Phoenix URadio was an earlier casualty.

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