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China’s Kuaishou says state broadcaster has no veto rights over business

Chinese online video company Kuaishou dismissed as untrue on Wednesday what it called “online rumours” that a state broadcaster would be able to veto its business decisions after taking a stake in its Beijing unit.

The platform said state-owned broadcaster the Beijing Radio and Television Station (BRTS), had only taken an equity stake in one of its Chinese units and the deal did not affect the parent company.

The Beijing subsidiary was cooperating with the broadcaster on content-related matters, Kuaishou said.

On Sunday, the U.S. tech publication the Information reported that the broadcaster’s recent acquisition of an equity stake in Kuaishou’s domestic business reflected the growing influence of the Chinese state over its tech sector.

BRTS’s 1% stake in Kuaishou’s Beijing unit was registered on Oct. 26, according to business registration information. On the same day, a former executive of a BRTS subsidiary, Shi Yesen, formally gained a board seat in the subsidiary.

BRTS did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

This is not the first state investment in Kuaishou.

In 2018, the China Internet Investment Fund (CIIF), which was established by the finance ministry and the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC), the main internet watchdog, took an approximate 1% stake in Kuaishou’s Cayman-incorporated entity, according to Kuaishou’s prospectus.

CIIF and its affiliates have been active in investing in Chinese internet giants.

A CIIF-backed entity called WangTouZhongWen (Beijing) Technology took a 1% stake and a board seat in a key ByteDance China entity last year. Another CIIF subsidiary, WangTouTongDa, similarly holds a 1% stake in a key unit of the Weibo social media platform, according to government data. Reuters

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