Digital Broadcasting Corporation is Hong Kong’s first digital radio broadcaster which fully operated in May 2012. On August 3, 2012, company’s chairman and major shareholder Beijing-loyalist Wong Cho-bau announced he would withhold an investment of HK50 million, ultimately lead to the stop of official programme. Station’s co-founder and host Albert Cheng Kong-hon claims DBC’s troubles are result of suppression of freedom of speech.
Court grants broadcaster DBC the right to appoint accountants
Major shareholder plans to appoint Deloitte to oversee ailing broadcaster
The High Court yesterday granted an application by Digital Broadcasting Corporation's major shareholder, Bill Wong Cho-bau, to appoint two accountants to take over the radio station.
Court of First Instance judge Mr Justice Jonathan Harris issued the order after Wong said he would convene a general meeting on November 14 to allow shareholders to vote on his proposal to add or remove members to the board of directors.
Wong proposed appointing two accountants from accounting firm Deloitte to take over properties of the digital radio station, which was pulled offline for five days last week following disputes among shareholders over capital injection.
The court heard the application was backed by the majority of the shareholders but Wong's camp had not received any response from station president Albert Cheng King-hon or Morris Ho Kwok-fai, its chief executive.
The court order is the latest development since the digital station resumed operation on Monday for what Cheng called a "voluntarily broadcasting campaign" that will last seven days.
The broadcaster faces possible penalties or suspension of its licence after the Communications Authority said on Monday that DBC might have breached its licensing conditions for failing to broadcast its seven channels 24 hours a day.
The station has been caught up in a dispute between Cheng and Beijing-loyalist Wong after Wong refused to top up his investment in the company for what Cheng called political reasons. Last week, shareholders failed to agree on a rescue plan for an ownership change.
The court heard yesterday that lawyers for Wong had written to Cheng and Ho to ask about the disruption of operations but the two had not yet replied.
Wong's lawyers also told the court that they had been pressing Cheng to hand over books, bank statements and ledgers. For now, they would not make an application with the court for an order on the matter.
Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Gregory So Kam-leung called on the station to resolve the disagreement.
"[The] individual licensee has the responsibility to handle its internal affairs properly," So said. "It is inappropriate … to interfere with the internal operation of media organisations, nor to play the role of commercial mediator to resolve disagreements on capital injection among the shareholders of a private company."