Phoenix Television

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Phoenix Media Investment (Holdings) Limited
Native name
TypePublic; State-owned enterprise
HeadquartersShenzhen, Guangdong, China
Tai Po, Hong Kong, China
Key people
Liu Changle (Chairman and chief executive officer),
Chui Keung (Deputy chief executive officer, Chief Compliance Officer),
Liu Shuang (Chief Operating Officer of Phoenix Satellite TV, CEO of Phoenix New Media)
ProductsTelevision content, Television programming
RevenueHK$3159m (2021)[1]
IncreaseHK$703m (2021)[1]
DecreaseHK$299m (2021)[1]
  • Today's Asia Limited (37.13%)
  • Extra Step Investments Limited (19.69%)
  • TPG China Media, L.P. (12.16%)
  • China Wise International Limited (8.25%) Edit this at Wikidata
Phoenix Chinese Channel
Phoenix Chinese.svg
Broadcast areaWorldwide
OwnerPhoenix Television
Sister channelsPhoenix InfoNews Channel
Phoenix Chinese News and Entertainment Channel
Phoenix North America Chinese Channel
Phoenix Movies Channel
Phoenix Hong Kong Channel
Launched31 March 1996
Phoenix Chinese Channel
Traditional Chinese鳳凰衛視中文台
Simplified Chinese凤凰卫视中文台
Alternative Chinese name
Traditional Chinese鳳凰衛視
Simplified Chinese凤凰卫视

Phoenix Television is a majority state-owned television network that offers Mandarin and Cantonese-language channels that serve mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau and other markets with substantial Chinese-language viewers. It is operated by Phoenix Satellite Television Holdings Ltd, a television broadcaster with headquarters in Mainland China and Hong Kong. It is also registered in Cayman Islands.[2]

The CEO and founder of Phoenix TV, Liu Changle (劉長樂), was an officer and political instructor in the People's Liberation Army in its 40th Group Army.[3] He later became a journalist for the Chinese Communist Party-controlled China National Radio after the Cultural Revolution and remains well-connected to the Party's leadership.[4] Liu is a standing member of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference.[5]

Phoenix Television calls itself a Hong Kong media outlet[6][7] but holds a non-domestic television programme services license in Hong Kong.[8] Most of the company's customers and non-current assets come from Mainland China.[9] Bauhinia Culture, a company wholly owned by the Chinese government, is its largest shareholder. Freedom House describes Phoenix Television as pro-Beijing.[10] Stephen McDonell of BBC News described the outlet as "sometimes more liberal than its mainland counterparts".[11]

The company's head offices are located in Shenzhen, Guangdong and Tai Po, Hong Kong and it also has correspondent offices in Beijing and Shanghai. The Shenzhen office is said to produce half its TV output.[12]


The China Phoenix Building is the Shenzhen headquarters of Phoenix Television

What eventually became Phoenix Television started as a joint venture between STAR TV in Hong Kong, one private company in China, and China Central Television.[13]

Phoenix Chinese Channel was launched on 31 March 1996. It replaced Star Chinese Channel in Hong Kong and Mainland China.[citation needed]

The Phoenix CNE channel broadcasts in Europe, while the Phoenix North America Chinese Channel goes out in the Americas. In 2005, a California-based broadcast and engineering director for the channel, Tai Wang Mak, was arrested for conspiring with his brother, Chi Mak, to act as an intelligence agent for China.[14] A 10-year prison sentence was announced in 2008.[15][16]

On 28 March 2011, Phoenix Television launched Phoenix Hong Kong Channel, broadcasting exclusively in Cantonese.[17]

On 31 March 2011, Phoenix InfoNews Channel was announced as a Peabody Award winner for its "Report on a New Generation of Migrant Workers in China."[18]

In 2011, Phoenix New Media formed a partnership with the BBC to offer the British broadcaster's programming on Phoenix's digital media platforms. This was followed by a similar partnership with the National Film Board of Canada in 2012, under which 130 NFB animated shorts and documentary films would be offered digitally in China.[19]

In October 2013, the 12.15% of shares in Phoenix Television held by 21st Century Fox (through Star) were sold to TPG Capital for HK$1.66 billion (about US$213 million).[20][21][22]

In February 2016, Phoenix Television broadcast forced confessions of kidnapped Hong Kong booksellers.[23][24][10]

In April 2020, Senator Ted Cruz announced that he would introduce legislation to mandate that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) revoke the broadcast license of a radio station, XEWW-AM, linked to Phoenix Television, which he claimed to have used radio towers in Mexico to skirt U.S. prohibitions against foreign propaganda dissemination.[25] In June 2020, the FCC ordered XEWW-AM to cease broadcasting.[26]

The Taiwanese government designated Phoenix as a Chinese government-funded company in April 2022, and required the company to end operations in Taiwan.[27]

During the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, a Phoenix TV reporter was one of the only foreign journalists to embed with the Russian military.[28]

Corporate governance[edit]


At launch, Star TV and a private sector company in China each owned 45% of the company, and state broadcaster China Central Television owned the remaining 10%.[13]

The original News Corporation's (and subsequently 21st Century Fox's) shares in Phoenix Television held through Star were gradually reduced over the years. Finally, 21st Century Fox sold its shares to TPG Capital in October 2013.[29][20][21][22]

According to the company's 2018[needs update] annual report, the company is owned by the following entities:[2]

Name Shares Percentage Note
Today's Asia Limited 1,854,000,000 37.13% A company beneficially owned by Liu Changle (100%).
Extra Step Investments Limited 983,000,000 19.69% A company owned by China Mobile Hong Kong, which is a part of state-owned China Mobile.
TPG China Media, L.P. 607,000,000 12.16% Part of TPG Capital and beneficially controlled by David Bonderman and James Coulter.[2]
China Wise International Limited 412,000,000 8.25% China Wise is owned by Bank of China, which is owned by Central Huijin Investment, a subsidiary of the government's China Investment Corporation sovereign wealth fund, which reports to the State Council of the People's Republic of China.

In April 2021, Liu sold most of his shares to state-owned publisher Bauhinia Culture and Shun Tak Holdings.[30][31]


Liu Changle (劉長樂), CEO and founder of Phoenix TV, was a journalist for the Chinese Communist Party-controlled China National Radio after the Cultural Revolution and had become one of China's richest men by the 1990s, being well-connected to the Beijing leadership.[3][4]

Shuang Liu (刘爽) became COO of Phoenix TV on 17 February 2014. He continues to be the CEO of Phoenix New Media Ltd (NYSE: FENG), a new media company in China.[32]

Former director of Phoenix TV news Chung Pong testified under oath that Phoenix TV news' programing was "subject to the dictates of the leadership of the Central Communist Propaganda Department, Central Communist Overseas Propaganda Office, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs."[33]


  1. ^ a b c "Annual Results Announcement for the Year Ended 31 December 2009" (PDF) (Press release). Phoenix Satellite Television Holdings Ltd. 18 March 2022. Archived (PDF) from the original on 19 April 2022. Retrieved 19 April 2022.
  2. ^ a b c "Annual Report" (PDF). 2018. pp. 137–138. Archived (PDF) from the original on 6 June 2021. Retrieved 9 April 2020.
  3. ^ a b Zhang, Wenxian; Wang, Huiyao; Alon, Ilan (6 May 2011). Entrepreneurial and Business Elites of China: The Chinese Returnees Who Have Shaped Modern China. Emerald Group Publishing. p. 98. ISBN 978-0-85724-089-7. OCLC 860625448. Archived from the original on 3 August 2020. Retrieved 9 April 2020.
  4. ^ a b Pan, Philip P. (19 September 2005). "Making Waves, Carefully, on the Air in China". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Archived from the original on 14 July 2017. Retrieved 9 April 2020.
  5. ^ "Liu Changle". World Economic Forum. Archived from the original on 3 March 2020. Retrieved 9 April 2020.
  6. ^ "'Do you work for China?': Trump confronts Hong Kong-based reporter during coronavirus briefing". Washington Examiner. 7 April 2020. Archived from the original on 29 April 2020. Retrieved 28 April 2020.
  7. ^ 胡一虎提问总理 抛情怀攀老乡 (in Chinese), archived from the original on 4 April 2020, retrieved 28 April 2020
  8. ^ "Non-domestic Television Programme Service". Communications Authority. Retrieved 28 April 2020.
  10. ^ a b Cook, Sarah (4 May 2017). "Chinese Government Influence on the U.S. Media Landscape" (PDF). United States-China Economic and Security Review Commission. Archived (PDF) from the original on 13 April 2020. Retrieved 11 April 2020.
  11. ^ Stephen McDonell (16 May 2016). "Cultural Revolution: No desire to dwell on the past". BBC News. Retrieved 21 January 2022.
  12. ^ "Half of Phoenix Television programs are produced in Shenzhen" (in Chinese). 26 March 2010. Archived from the original on 20 July 2011. Retrieved 21 May 2010.
  13. ^ a b Farley, Maggie (23 February 1996). "Star TV, Chinese Firm Reportedly in Joint Venture". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 6 June 2021. Retrieved 31 December 2018.
  14. ^ Grier, Peter (30 November 2005). "Spy case patterns the Chinese style of espionage". Christian Science Monitor. ISSN 0882-7729. Retrieved 5 September 2022.
  15. ^ Bill Gertz (18 September 2006),ENEMIES Archived 3 May 2014 at the Wayback Machine The Washington Times
  16. ^ Josh Gerstein (22 April 2008), Chinese Spy Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison Archived 3 May 2014 at the Wayback Machine The New York Sun
  17. ^ "凤凰卫视将开播香港台 以广东话进行广播". Archived from the original on 16 February 2011. Retrieved 15 March 2011.
  18. ^ "Complete list of 2011 Peabody Awards". Star Tribune. 31 March 2011. Archived from the original on 21 January 2022.
  19. ^ Kushigemachi, Todd (12 June 2012). "Canucks find first TV niche in China". Variety. Archived from the original on 16 June 2012. Retrieved 13 June 2012.
  20. ^ a b Tan, Clement "TPG pays Murdoch unit $214 million for Chinese media company stake Archived 22 December 2017 at the Wayback Machine" Reuters 19 October 2013
  21. ^ a b Joshua, Fellman "TPG China Media Buys Remaining Fox Stake in Phoenix Satellite TV Archived 2 January 2019 at the Wayback Machine" Bloomberg L.P. 18 October 2013
  22. ^ a b Frater, Patrick "21st Century Fox Sells Phoenix Stake Archived 2 January 2019 at the Wayback Machine" Variety 22 October 2013
  23. ^ "HK bookseller: TV confession 'forced'". BBC News. 16 June 2016. Archived from the original on 2 November 2019. Retrieved 11 April 2020.
  24. ^ Zheping, Huang (1 August 2016). "China is using Hong Kong's media to broadcast its smear campaigns". Quartz. Archived from the original on 13 April 2020. Retrieved 11 April 2020.
  25. ^ Kredo, Adam (24 April 2020). "Cruz Seeks to Shut Down Chinese Propaganda Station Phoenix TV". The Washington Free Beacon. Archived from the original on 27 April 2020. Retrieved 26 April 2020.
  26. ^ Shepardson, David (22 June 2020). "FCC orders radio station in Mexico to halt broadcast of Chinese programs to U.S." Reuters. Archived from the original on 23 June 2020. Retrieved 22 June 2020.
  27. ^ "Phoenix TV faces closure in Taiwan". Taipei Times. Agence France Presse. 7 April 2022. Retrieved 7 April 2022.
  28. ^ Carey, Alexis (16 March 2022). "Chinese reporter Lu Yuguang only foreign journalist working from Russia's 'frontline'". Retrieved 22 October 2022.
  29. ^ "TPG to Acquire 21st Century Fox's Stake in Phoenix Satellite Television Holdings Limited Archived 2 January 2019 at the Wayback Machine" (press release) TPG Capital; 21st Century Fox Business Wire 18 October 2013
  30. ^ Ng, Eric (18 April 2021). "Phoenix founder Liu sells shares to Beijing-backed publisher, Pansy Ho firm". South China Morning Post. Archived from the original on 25 May 2021. Retrieved 25 May 2021.
  31. ^ "Publishing, Media Takeovers Part of China's Two-Pronged Grip on Hong Kong". Radio Free Asia. 10 May 2021. Archived from the original on 25 May 2021. Retrieved 25 May 2021.
  32. ^ "凤凰新媒体 Phoenix New Media - Investor Relations - Company News". Archived from the original on 16 April 2014. Retrieved 27 November 2017.
  33. ^ Everington, Keoni (17 April 2020). "CCP reporter who told Trump he was from Taiwan faces stiff fine". Taiwan News. Archived from the original on 20 April 2020. Retrieved 18 April 2020.

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