RTHK has confirmed that Beijing's Liaison Office in Hong Kong has indirect ownership of a local publishing conglomerate that runs more than half of the bookshops in the city.
An investigation by the station's current affairs programme "Hong Kong Connection" found the Liaison Office has control of Sino United Publishing Holdings Limited which has 53 branches and is the owner of more than 30 publishers in Hong Kong.
It said the major shareholder of the publishing conglomerate is a local company called "Xin Wenhua Hong Kong Development Company", which is in turn owned by a Guangzhou firm.
The Guangzhou company has only one shareholder -- Beijing's Liaison Office in Hong Kong.
Documents of the Guangzhou firm also revealed that its scope of business involves "managing news and cultural businesses in the SAR".
Lee Cho-jat, who was the first chairman of Sino, said the group is "a national asset" and the Liaison Office is obliged by Beijing to coordinate "different units." But he denied there was any political agenda involved.
Several officials from the Liaison Office have refused to respond over the matter. The Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Bureau said it has "no relevant information" to provide.