Public broadcaster RTHK is to end its 24-hour relay of BBC radio in favour of a state-run Mandarin-language station.

From September 4, China National Radio Hong Kong Edition will replace the BBC World Service on AM Radio 6. However, eight hours of the BBC’s global station will still be relayed live between 11pm and 7am each day on Radio 4.

RTHK said on Friday that the change was because its Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) services were set to end. On March 28, the government decided DAB services would be be axed within six months, following a review.

rthk radio
Photo: HKFP remix.

National Radio also includes some Cantonese broadcasting, and focuses on news, finance, arts and culture programming.

“This channel is tailor made for RTHK when we first introduced DAB, and it can enhance the cultural exchange between the mainland and Hong Kong,” RTHK spokesperson Amen Ng said on Friday.

Earlier this year, the broadcaster switched its RTHK 33 TV channel from the English-language state-run CGTN Documentary to the Mandarin-language CCTV1.

The BBC World Service has been broadcast in Hong Kong since 1978.

Tom is the editor-in-chief and founder of Hong Kong Free Press. He has a BA in Communications and New Media from Leeds University and an MA in Journalism from the University of Hong Kong. He has contributed to the BBC, Euronews, Al-Jazeera and others.