June 22, 2020 / 9:33 PM / 15 days ago

FCC orders radio station in Mexico to halt broadcast of Chinese programs to U.S.

FILE PHOTO: The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) logo is seen before the FCC Net Neutrality hearing in Washington February 26, 2015. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas/File Photo

(Reuters) - The Federal Communications Commission on Monday said it rejected the request of a radio station in Mexico to continue broadcasting Mandarin Chinese language programs to southern California and ordered it to cease operations within 48 hours.

The FCC said the broadcast studio is used by Phoenix Radio, a company wholly owned by Phoenix TV, but not listed as an applicant. The FCC rejected the request as “deficient” but said the applicants - and Phoenix Radio - could refile the request.

In July 2018, to ensure continuity of service for XEWW-AM listeners, the FCC granted a temporary authorization to permit broadcasts pending FCC review. The following month, a group running a community radio station in southern California asked the FCC to deny the application, saying it might allow the government of the People’s Republic of China to “provide its own propaganda programming.”

Senator Ted Cruz, a Texas Republican, praised the FCC’s decision to reject the bid.

“Phoenix TV is a puppet of the Chinese Communist Party that broadcasts propaganda across the United States,” Cruz said in a statement. “Today’s decision sends an important message to the world that the U.S. will not allow China to exploit FCC loopholes and spread its propaganda over our airwaves.”

A lawyer for applicants GLR Southern California and H&H Group USA did not immediately respond to requests for comment. The Chinese embassy in Washington also did not immediately comment.

Phoenix TV bills itself as the largest Chinese language television provider in the United States and Canada, transmitting programming to more than 200,000 subscribers on cable and satellite systems.

Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Dan Grebler

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