A Wenzhou businessman has bought out Yorkshire-based not-for-profit satellite television channel Propeller and will soon begin using the channel to broadcast programs promoting China and Chinese culture in Europe, according to China Daily.
This newest addition to China’s collection of foreign media outlets comes after several expansions of the central government’s international media influence, including the new English-language edition of the Global Times and Xinhua’s new European grocery store service. However, the conversion of Propeller is one of the biggest pushes in recent memory by an individual citizen to provide harmony abroad.
Ye Maoxi, the Wenzhou businessman who purchased Propeller, is quoted in Zhejiang’s City Express newspaper (translated on China Daily on the future of the station:
“Specific programs to introduce China and Wenzhou will be introduced and some of them will be broadcasted in Chinese.”
“It will be a spot for local people to know more about China and for overseas Chinese to get the latest news about their homeland.”
Very little news has come out as far as how much will change at the station; however, considering the channel is currently focused on showcasing rising film and television talent, broadcasts intended for “overseas Chinese to get the latest news about their homeland” may be a bit of a departure from present broadcasts.
It is also unclear whether the station will have more in the way of news or cultural programming. While in the quote above Ye seems to be leaning towards providing news for Chinese abroad, other media outlets are reporting that Ye plans to promote “Chinese culture, brands and people, with some possibly broadcast in Chinese.” [Google News/AFP]
Ye’s recent acquisition of Propeller is not the first time private Chinese citizens have bought out foreign media outlets. Wang Weisheng, also from Wenzhou, acquired a state-run TV station in the United Arab Emirates in 2005. However, Wang has focused on promoting Chinese business abroad, while from Ye has said, he intends to promote more cultural aspects on Propeller.