Speech at Panel on Information Technology and Broadcasting

Review of Broadcasting Ordinance (Cap. 562) and Telecommunications Ordinance (Cap. 106)

Cross-media ownership

Mr CHAN Chun-ying queried whether the Administration would allow a person to hold licence of more than one type of media.

Mr CHAN Chun-ying also asked whether the Administration would introduce new policy on foreign language programmes to be provided by local television licensees. As regards the provision of non-English foreign language TV programmes, PS(CCI) said that there was currently no such requirement on TV licensees.

PS(CCI) said that the Administration had been conducting an internal study on the subject of cross-media ownership, covering overseas experiences and practices of their regulatory regimes as appropriate. Consultants might be engaged to study certain specific issues, if necessary. She said that in some jurisdictions, a person or corporation might own more than one type of media so long as the coverage or market share of the media outlets did not exceed specified limits. In some other jurisdictions, a person or corporation might hold a certain number of licences, say two out of three specified types of media.


Progress report on Innovation and Technology Fund for Better Living and Digital Inclusion

Helping the elderly population and community with special needs

Mr Chan Chun-ying asked if the Administration had invited research and development (“R&D”) institutions, elderly service organizations and universities to discuss the needs and problems faced by elderly people so that applicants for FBL could address more accurately the needs of the elderly in their applications. Mr Chan Chun-ying also commented that the number of elderly people benefited from the Information and Communications Technology (“ICT”) Outreach Programme for the Elderly was small compared with the entire elderly population. Mr CHAN asked whether the Administration would reach out to more elderly people through family members and school students.

S for IT said that local service agencies were encouraged to adapt suitable overseas innovative technologies to serve the local community. Government Chief Information Officer (“GCIO”) said that apart from the ICT Outreach Programme for the Elderly, the Administration had also provided funding support for non-profit social service organizations to develop digital inclusion mobile apps that addressed the needs of specific community groups, including the elderly. GCIO said that an example was the mobile app recently developed by the Hong Kong Young Women’s Christian Association for helping elderly people connect with their family members and friends and hence broaden their social circles.

Mr CHAN Chun-ying asked how the Assessment Panel of FBL would consider applications and, in particular, whether heavier weighting would be accorded to applications for development of products that addressed the needs of the elderly community. Mr Alvin YEUNG asked whether the Assessment Panel included members from the social services sector or whether it would seek views of the sector when considering applications that targeted at the community with special needs.

Permanent Secretary for Innovation and Technology (“PS(IT)”) said that the application guide of FBL had set out the assessment criteria and the respective distribution of weightings, including: benefits brought to the public or specific community group(s), innovation and technology content, feasibility and sustainability, financial considerations, and technical and management capability of the applicants. PS(IT) added that two members of the Assessment Panel had strong social service background and could advise on the needs of the vulnerable groups. Relevant bureaux and departments (“B/Ds”) would be consulted on the individual FBL applications, if necessary, and be invited to the Assessment Panel meetings to tender advice.