China Central Television is the predominant state television broadcaster in China. Founded in 1958, it serves as one of the chief propaganda arms of the Communist government. In recent years, CCTV’s English-language international news coverage has undergone large-scale expansion partly as a response to Chinese President Hu Jintao’s 2007 call for further development of “soft power”.
CCTV host Rui Chenggang may have had stake in PR firm linked to channel’s shows
Rui Chenggang, taken into custody with two others, is under investigation because Pegasus had contracts for other CCTV financial programmes
A mainland news portal accused a leading anchor with China Central Television (CCTV) of possible internal trade using his own company, which is connected with the television station.
Tencent, one of the most popular news portals, reported today that a public relations company once owned by Rui Chenggang has big business ties with CCTV.
Registration information from the Beijing Industrial and Commercial Bureau showed that a Rui Chenggang once owned shares in a public relations consulting firm named Pegasus starting from 2002. The name was deleted from the investors’ list after 2010.
It is unknown whether this Rui Chenggang is the same as the presenter.
Watch: CCTV presenter goes missing from show after being detained
Pegasus also reportedly won several contracts for programmes on the CCTV Finance Channel, during the 2009 Davos Summit, where Rui presented several programmes.
The anchor, as well as CCTV Financial News Channel deputy director Li Yong and an unnamed producer were reportedly taken away for investigation on Friday, mainland news portal Caixin Online reported.
The producer was later identified as Qian Xi, a co-producer of CCTV Economic News, which Rui anchored, Tencent reported, citing multiple sources.
Rui was abruptly taken away from the CCTV premises, according to previous reports, and Qian’s name has not appeared in the credits at the end of CCTV programme since Saturday, Tencent said today.
Qian has been working closely with Rui for more 10 years. In a previous interview with Nanfang People’s Weekly magazine, Qian compared Rui to Larry King, and described him as “an icon marking the internationalisation of [CCTV’s] financial channel”.
The reasons behind the detention were still unclear, but it comes after the Supreme People’s Procuratorate said on June 1 that CCTV director Guo Zhenxi and producer Tian Liwu were taken into custody on suspicion of corruption.
After the detention, rumours have been widely spread that Rui was implicated in the investigation into Guo, although Rui denied it.
Rui, who joined CCTV in 2003, first gained fame during the Davos Summit in 2008, when he conducted several interviews with state leaders and business tycoons with his fluent English and clear thinking.
But he also drew attention for his aggressiveness in interviews. At a press conference for US President Barack Obama at the 2010 G20 Summit, when Obama was seeking a question from Korean press. Rui raised his hand and said: “I’m actually Chinese, but I think I get to represent all of Asia, [as] part of the family on this side of the world.”
Neither CCTV nor Edelman Europe, which purchased Pegasus, could be reached for comment.
Neither Rui nor Qian has updated his Weibo microblog since Saturday.