Phoenix rumors come true, Shanghai officials to take over key positions

Liu Changle, who has a background in the Chinese Communist Party military, is the founder of Hong Kong‘s Phoenix Satellite Television.

The pro-Communist Phoenix TV today officially announced that Xu Wei, former Secretary of the Party Committee of the Communist Party’s Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, has become the company’s chief executive officer, while founder Liu Changle remains as Phoenix’s chairman of the board and executive director. Previously, Sun Yusheng, former deputy director of CCTV, had been appointed executive vice president of Phoenix Satellite Television.

On February 26, Phoenix TV announced on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKEX) that Xu Wei had been appointed CEO of the company and that founder Liu Changle was no longer CEO, but remained as Chairman of the Board and Executive Director of the company.

The Phoenix announcement declared that this appointment order is effective as of February 26.

According to public information, Xu Wei, born in October 1966, has served as a reporter for Shanghai Radio, director of the news department of Shanghai Oriental Radio, general manager and editor-in-chief of Shanghai Oriental TV Media Company Limited, director of Shanghai Oriental TV, director of Shanghai Satellite TV Center, spokesman for the Shanghai World Expo Coordination Bureau, head of the press and propaganda department, deputy director of the Shanghai Municipal Party Committee’s Foreign Propaganda Office (Municipal Government Information Office) On August 28, 2020, he became the Secretary of the Party Committee of the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences.

Previously, Hong Kong’s Phoenix TV was reported by the media to have made senior personnel changes. According to an internal memo from Phoenix on February 25 cited by mainland media Caixin, Liu Changle issued an important personnel appointment on February 24, in which Sun Yusheng, former deputy director of CCTV, was appointed as executive vice president of Phoenix, responsible to the chief executive. Sun Yusheng is responsible for Phoenix’s program planning, programming style, content and production, as well as coordinating the management of the channels.

It was announced at the Time that Liu Changle would remain as Chairman of the Board and CEO of Phoenix Satellite Television.

“According to Ren Chongdao, a researcher at Tianjun Political Economy, Liu Changle has a background in the Chinese Communist Party military, having been an officer in the military’s political propaganda department in his early years. He was once warned by Beijing authorities about his Jiang faction affiliation, especially when he had made a lot of noise for Bo Xilai and tried to “bleach” for him after his downfall. However, Liu Changle did not accept the previous lesson, and used Phoenix TV to try to speak out for Zhou Yongkang in a public opinion war at the beginning of his investigation. All these violated the taboo of the CCP officialdom.

As expected, there was news of a top-level change at Phoenix TV in Hong Kong, involving founder Liu Changle and his Family. The personnel shakeup is related to the broken financial chain of Phoenix Financial, which has owed its employees 3 months of salary arrears. Beijing authorities, in turn, have sent 2 people from their professional propaganda department to take over Phoenix TV. Therefore, it makes sense that Liu Changle and Phoenix TV have degenerated to such a state.

On Feb. 10, it was announced that there were major personnel changes at the top of Phoenix TV and that Liu Changle’s family was completely out of the company. The Voice of America reported on Feb. 11 that Liu Changle, the founder of Hong Kong-based Phoenix TV with a Communist Party military background, and his family had completely quit the company’s management.