Ending a Chinese television show

Brian Schwarz reports from Shanghai:

Last Friday, viewers of the most popular economics talk show on Shanghai television were hit with a disappointment  — their favorite presenter was absent and his show cancelled.

The show was called Lang Commentary of Finance, hosted by Mr. Larry Lang Xianping, a Taiwan—raised and American—educated finance professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.  The reason for the cancellation remains in dispute. 

According to Mr. Mark O'Neill, a reporter for the Hong Kong—based South China Morning Post, the Chinese Business News channel, which had aired the show since the fall of 2004, has remained silent on the issue.

He goes on to explain:

However, television journalists in Shanghai confirmed the news, saying the reason given to Mr Lang was that he did not have the licence issued by the government to television comperes to certify they can speak standard Chinese.

This is absurd, as the highly educated Mr Lang speaks Mandarin better than many members of the government —— albeit with a Taiwan accent —— and much better than Mao Zedong or Deng Xiaoping.

The real reason was that Mr Lang did his job too well.
He discussed the hot economic issues of the day with a depth and frankness the mainland had never experienced before and which in the end it could not tolerate.

As an outsider, he could say much that local Chinese would not dare. A favourite theme was a critique of what he considers excessively rapid privatisation of state firms. "Russia needed two years for privatisation, whereas China will need 20," he said.

He advocated the use of well—paid, professional managers to run state firms and for keeping them in public ownership.

To read more, see this.

Brian Schwarz reports from Shanghai:

Last Friday, viewers of the most popular economics talk show on Shanghai television were hit with a disappointment  — their favorite presenter was absent and his show cancelled.

The show was called Lang Commentary of Finance, hosted by Mr. Larry Lang Xianping, a Taiwan—raised and American—educated finance professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.  The reason for the cancellation remains in dispute. 

According to Mr. Mark O'Neill, a reporter for the Hong Kong—based South China Morning Post, the Chinese Business News channel, which had aired the show since the fall of 2004, has remained silent on the issue.

He goes on to explain:

However, television journalists in Shanghai confirmed the news, saying the reason given to Mr Lang was that he did not have the licence issued by the government to television comperes to certify they can speak standard Chinese.

This is absurd, as the highly educated Mr Lang speaks Mandarin better than many members of the government —— albeit with a Taiwan accent —— and much better than Mao Zedong or Deng Xiaoping.

The real reason was that Mr Lang did his job too well.
He discussed the hot economic issues of the day with a depth and frankness the mainland had never experienced before and which in the end it could not tolerate.

As an outsider, he could say much that local Chinese would not dare. A favourite theme was a critique of what he considers excessively rapid privatisation of state firms. "Russia needed two years for privatisation, whereas China will need 20," he said.

He advocated the use of well—paid, professional managers to run state firms and for keeping them in public ownership.

To read more, see this.