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RTHK to replace BBC World Service broadcast with Chinese state programming

Public broadcaster RTHK is set to drop its 24-hour BBC World Service broadcast and replace it with programming from China’s state radio channel after BBC’s nearly four decades of continuous broadcast in Hong Kong.

The new programme will be introduced on AM Radio 6 starting September 4, and contents will focus on news, finance, arts and culture programming. It is broadcast almost entirely in Mandarin, but may include some Cantonese broadcasting.

The news follows Hong Kong government’s announcement last Friday that it would stop its Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) services due to a lack of demand in the city.

“This channel is tailor made for RTHK when we first introduced DAB,” said RTHK spokesperson Amen Ng , adding that the swap was meant to “enhance the cultural exchange between the mainland and Hong Kong”. Eight hours of the BBC World Service will still be played overnight from 11pm to 7am local time, Ng added.

Earlier this year, RTHK replaced its RTHK 33 TV channel from the English-language Chinese state broadcaster CGTN Documentary to the Mandarin-language CCTV1.

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