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HK broadcaster TVB faces online boycott campaign by netizens

HK broadcaster TVB faces online boycott campaign by netizens

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Social media users in mainland China have created an online campaign to boycott Hong Kong broadcasting station TVB for awarding actress Ali Lee Kai-sum Best Actress of 2021 on Sunday for her drama AI Romantic.

The actress, who has worked with brands such as LBuy HK, Bank of East Asia HK, Biore, Tommy Hilfiger and many other notable brands, was accused of supporting secessionists amidst the riots in 2019 and also making controversial comments, Global Times reported.

The campaign found momentum on Weibo and netizens were circulating screenshots of an Instagram post that saw the actress liking a photo depicting an upside-down Chinese national flag. This resulted in netizens calling for the boycott of TVB for giving the actress opportunities.

This isn’t the first time TVB has unfortunately faced calls of boycott and cyberbullying. Last October, TVB filed a police report claiming that some netizens had incited others to boycott the broadcaster, its advertisers and artistes.  

In a statement, TVB said it noted the recent intention of some netizens attempting to incite others to boycott TVB, its advertisers and artistes online, such as "harassment, molestation, pestering, threat or intimidation." 

"The cyberbullying behaviour may cause psychological or property damage to these parties and subsequently lead to social unsettling. In order to protect TVB and our advertisers, as well as stop indiscriminative cyberbullying, TVB today reported to the Police in the morning. The case will be followed up by Cyber Security and Technology Crime Bureau," the statement wrote. 

TVB added that as one of the largest broadcasters in Hong Kong, TVB reaffirms its responsibilities in "maintaining social stability and harmony and ensuring public safety with law enforcement agencies and the general public."

Last year, TVB also appointed Sing Tao News Corporation's executive director and chief executive officer Siu Sai-wo as general manager (business operations). At the same time,  the company has also promoted Eric Tsang Chi-wai to general manager (content operations). 

In his new position, Siu oversees marketing and sales operations across TVB’s various platforms with the objective of increasing cross-platform synergies and effectiveness, as well as directs all internal and external corporate communication activities and formulating TVB's overall brand strategy. He will report to the executive committee consisting of chairman and non-executive director Thomas Hui, non-executive director Li Ruigang, and chief financial officer and company secretary Adrian Mak.

Tsang, meanwhile, is responsible for TVB's key content operations, including the creation of various types of content, such as non-drama, co-produced drama and music, and the acquisition and curation of programmes. Tsang reports to the executive committee as well.

(Photo courtesy: Instagram)

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