China sanctions private TV channel

Marking a major shift in its policy of maintaining strict government control over broadcasting, China has granted Hong Kong-based Phoenix TV permission to broadcast via satellite to an area of southern Guangdong province, the Yangcheng Evening News reported Saturday.

Phoenix, partly owned by News Corp subsidiary STAR-TV, carries a mixture of mostly entertainment programs produced in Hong Kong and Taiwan. China’s TV chief, Xu Guangchun, said that he hoped the move “will help Chinese television media move toward the world.”