The proposed sale of an AM station along the Mexico-U.S. border to a group of Chinese investors has stoked fears that the 50,000-watt station will be used to infiltrate the U.S. with Chinese propaganda. Spanish news-talk “W-Radio 690” XEWW (690), which blankets Southern California from Tijuana, is being sold by Mexican broadcaster GLR to Chinese investment group H&H Group USA, owned by Vivian Huo, a U.S. citizen who runs the investment firm H&H Capital Partners.
According to the Daily Mail, H&H Group has close ties to Phoenix Satellite TV, a subsidiary of Hong Kong-based pro-Beijing network Phoenix TV.
Huo has denied the company brokered the radio deal for Phoenix. "We purchased the radio station ourselves and there is nothing to do with Phoenix," she said in an email to the conservative news website Washington Free Beacon. However the publication identifies the Irwindale, CA address of Phoenix Satellite TV US as the location where programming for XEWW’s planned new format will be produced.
In its filing to sell the station, GLR says the new owners will flip the station to Mandarin Chinese programming to serve Southern California’s Chinese-speaking population. Other Chinese- language radio stations in the U.S. have reportedly complained to the FCC about the sale. The commission could block the deal if it decides the ownership change would violate a 1992 U.S.-Mexico agreement limiting foreign broadcasts from Mexico that can reach the U.S.
According to the Washington Free Beacon, the Justice Department launched an investigation into the sale last week and Senator Marco Rubio (R.-FL) has voiced concerns about the sale and urged the FCC to investigate. "The FCC must protect American security and economic interests, and deny any attempt by the Chinese government to broadcast Communist Party propaganda and other programming into the United States," Rubio said.