HKTV Shutdown Forces Wilson Tsui to Consider Selling Assets

Wilson Tsui (艾威) is angry and in shock over HKTV’s potential shutdown. Fearing the loss of a major income stream, the 55-year-old actor has considered selling his assets in order to pay the bills.

Working in television since 1979, Wilson left TVB after 33 years of service to join Ricky Wong’s (王維基) HKTV station in 2012. When the Hong Kong government rejected HKTV’s free-to-air broadcast license in October 2013, Wilson was outspoken about his dissatisfaction and stated that he will never return to his former employer. He remained with HKTV when the start-up announced in December that it will transition itself into a mobile broadcast platform. Unfortunately, Hong Kong’s Communications Authority recently warned that HKTV will require a free-to-air or pay television license in order to broadcast its contents to more than 5000 local households. HKTV has since suspended its productions, and rumors claim that the company has also halted plans to renew its artistes’ contracts.

Since his contract expired earlier this month, HKTV’s potential closure is a major threat to Wilson’s bank account. Although he has no offspring of his own, Wilson financially sponsors twelve needy children in addition to supporting his elderly mother and his wife, racking up thousands of HKD in monthly expenses. To pay the bills, he has thought about selling his assets to generate cash. “If I continue to have no income, I would really have to sell some assets. I have a watch that should worth something. Then I’d sell my car…and finally my home.”

In a worst case scenario, Wilson has considered packing up and moving to Taiwan where cost of living is much cheaper. He is however looking into alternatives so that he can remain in Hong Kong. “My home can probably sell for a few million [HKD]. I can invest it or slowly spend it. I know that I am luckier than many of my colleagues, and have the chance to buy a home to serve as my final fortress.”

Despite a potentially dire financial situation, Wilson hopes that he would not have to give up on his child sponsorship. No matter how bad things can get, he is adamant about never returning to TVB. “I have never considered it. I won’t die, I feel that I will be able to survive no matter what. It’s like that Chinese saying, ‘When the horse dies, walk instead’.”


This article is written by Katrine for

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    1. I agree and in life, most of us would run into these situations where times are hard. IF that is the case then he needs to swallow his pride and go back to TVB,unless he is blacklisted or ended on really bad terms. Why can’t he act for the other 2 new companies?

    2. Agree. He made a critical error to burn bridges so early on.

    3. That is why there is an idiom saying Don’t Burn the Bridge after crossing it because you never know one day you may want to cross to the other side again.

  1. its kinda sad when ur an actor or actress in HK and u only have 1 place to work in, there are no choices u can only work in one place or not work at all

    1. No going back to TVB, so how’s about moving onto film?

      1. well he did pissed of TVB , i think tvb can use their influence power and destroy his career

  2. I feel sorry for him.

    If he dont want to return to TVB, why dont he apply for other TV station instead of hanging around HKTV.

  3. Eating humble pie at his age must be difficult but then if Wilson is so passionate over looking after his 12 orphans he should do just that.

    1. I agree that he does not have much but is yet willing to give so much. Unlike some that have so much but are not willing to give anything. I feel so bad for him and hope that he finds a good station/company to work for. I am guessing he does not have connections in China or else he can easily earn money there.

  4. hope TVB management will negotiate with wilson as he got a good heart in sponsoring 12 orphans…this is already a kind deed and should be blessed…

    1. He can’t even afford himself , why care about the 12 orphans?

      1. That is why he is so selfless and has a big heart. I once knew this lady who did not have much but raised several orphans on her own. It takes a really kind hearted and selfless person to do so. Instead of the many that have so much but yet just put it all in their own pocket.

      2. I agree with HeTieShou. He must be a very kind man to adapt that many orphans. Back to the issue at hand, probably he has been holding back his anger and/or satisfaction with TVB years before he decided to speak up. Good for him!!!

  5. He’s not the only one that is very firm with not going back to TVB. And I don’t blame them for not wanting to return, but I will miss seeing them.

    Wishing the best for him!

  6. this guys been in some china dramas ive seen him and in some movies a good actor like him never has problem getting work… the salary he was getting from tvb he wouldnt even be able feed himself

    1. I agree

      I don’t see why he can’t find work in mainland dramas

      1. Was he in some China series already? I have not seen him in any but if he was already in some series already then I wonder why he cannot find work in China? Unless they did not like his acting OR the competition in CHina is so high that they are in demand for much younger actors rather than older actors. This circle is tough.

  7. Wait, has Ricky confirm shutting down? Man…I feel bad for them. Maybe he can try the other markets. Some income is better than none.

    1. He hasn’t officially confirmed shutting down. But if things don’t change for him, he may be forced to.

      And it seems that the CA was playing around, giving Ricky Wong false hope. But he could broadcast what he has so far on youtube (eg. broadcast 2nd episode of Police Boundaries).. I mean if there is 5000+ views, it means that people are willing to watch his dramas and he could use it to back it up against CA? :/

      1. What a great idea. Put it on YouTube for free and use the views as part of a negotiating factor. “Our show garnered 5000+ views on YouTube that is accessible almost in every country. Oh but wait, we are talking about a free to air licence in Hk that has absolutely nothing to do with an online website.”

  8. and plus hktv is still making dramas they got there licence to show on line so as if this article is true i wish i could be an article writter all i would do is write things people like to hear if i was from hk

  9. Such a pity.. the HK government must hate HKTV a lot, they are doing everything they can to shut the station down..

    1. TVB influence and connection with the government too OP

  10. ricky should have gone to china and produced dramas there his got lots of money.. maybe ricky just didnt know how to do things… not a good business person

    1. That wouldn’t have worked either because I heard that Ricky Wong is not a supporter of the Chinese government and hence, refusal..

      1. true that probably one of the reason why the HK government didn’t give him a licensed .HKTV is like a mad dog who will bite any one compared to icable and nowtv stay quiet and obedient

      2. wakaka..obedient. hehe. In this world u must know who is banker and who is player. TVB is banker. Pls respect!! that stupid HKTV deserved it!!!!

    2. i think china don’t even want him lolololololol. With Ricky attitude he wont make a living in china….

      1. Well there was this one actor from TVB who was not even a leading actor and only has mediocre acting, but yet is now in China productions. I don’t remember his name. He played that one “gong zi” in whatever it takes that liked Tavia but she hated him. Annie then turned him into a dog for awhile. My mom wondered how an actor like him made it to China?? We all said it was due to connections.

    3. maybe he should have used his money nice and slowly because i read he had 500 hkd and thats alot of money

      1. Well, that’s the reason why so many veteran artists who truly care about the HK television industry support him — because he would rather throw his money into the TV industry (which is pretty much equivalent to throwing it into the ocean at this point) than just let it sit. I read somewhere that if Ricky Wong hadn’t gone the HKTV route, he could have just sit back, do practically nothing, and still earn millions of dollars every month (that’s how lucrative his telecom business was). But instead, he chose to put that money into the HK television industry and look where that got him.

        I like the way Chow Yun Fat put it: at the very least, Ricky Wong had the heart to throw millions of dollars into the HK television industry and try to do something good for the industry…in comparisons, what has the government down to help/support the entertainment industry these past 15+ years since the handover? Pretty much nothing!

      2. Is Ricky really closing down?? Oh my gosh, that is really sad news. I feel really bad for him and everyone else. Ricky spent so much money and worked to hard just to end up like this??? I wonder what he will do now??? It does not seem that going to China is an option for him. Maybe he can try other countries??

  11. It’s sad how things have turned out for them. Really TVB is that bad to work for??? I mean no matter how hard it is for my fave actors/actresses, they still manage to overcome those working conditions and did not leave tvb. My faves are still working for tvb and I just hope they are treated ok. Worries me.

    1. some people just demand too much , tvb may be stingy however think about it they have over 10000 employers working for them if each person get a 10 % raise for example how can tvb live in the next couple of years.

      1. i think its more the policy of tvb that makes many of their employees turned their back upon them.its amazing how quick tvb have changed their policy after hktv have poached many of their employees. this is the result if you owned the whole free tv market.and the hk government is the one who blame on.

      2. Well, the fact that artists would rather change careers, leave HK, or sell all their assets than return to TVB, that definitely tells us a thing or two about how TVB was treating them. If they were treating these artists well, I doubt they would have a problem ‘swallowing their pride’ and returning to TVB — plus don’t forget how ‘petty’ TVB is…if these artists do return (especially the outspoken ones), TVB is of course going to make sure their lives are miserable…

        And it’s not just those who went to HKTV. Did anyone read the interview Wong He did with Mingpao or watch the episode of Star Chat where he was interviewed by Wang Man Ling? Not only did he explain why he decided to leave TVB, he also described in detail the hardships he went through after leaving the station (which included singing at pubs in Mainland, being threatened by gangsters, nearly getting sexually harrassed during a performance, etc….not to mention the blow to his reputation when he left TVB with the label ‘difficult artist to work with’) — yet despite all that, he doesn’t regret leaving TVB and now has a very successful career plus plus he’s earning alot of money (1 year after leaving TVB, he already saved enough money to buy a house, which was something he wasn’t able to do working 18 years for TVB).

      3. I have heard of the really bad treatment of TVB artists for many many years so that is nothing new. I remember back then how my brother mentioned Sek Sau refused to act in a certain role so TVB took him to court. Even Tony Leung Chiu Wai vows that he will never ever come back to TVB, but of course with his status now he does not need to. However, sadly not everyone can be like Tony.

      4. That was a very very long time ago that I did not even remember until my oldest brother told me.

      5. Well, one big reason that many are claiming to change careers, leave HK, etc than return to TVB is that they risked it all and “lost”. Of course they would not suck it up and return to TVB because they have too much pride to do so. Honestly, they left and I don’t see why we should expect them to get their original position back if they did return to tvb. Them leaving opened up a lot of doors for a lot of supporting/veteran actors and actresses to be able to step up and gain some more exposure and money.

      6. I noticed a common factor of artists who jumped ship from TVB to HKTV – most are supporting actors/actresses who can act but lack the looks./youth. Referring to people like Wilson Tsui, Catherine Chow, Deno Cheung, Chan On Ying, Savio Tsang, Rain Lau, Mannor Chan.

      7. Savio tsang used to be in mostly leading roles when he acted for ATV back in the days. I find it sad how TVB is only giving him supporting roles. The same thing happened to Lawrence Yan. He used to play significant roles in a ATV, but only acted in a few supporting roles at TVB. I think that us why he is retired from show biz now.

      8. Yup TVB doesn’t seem to treat their ex-employees fairly. Then again, it happens in other industries as well. Even Ruco took a long time before he got to where he is after re-joining TVB from ATV.

  12. “A good fortune may forebode a bad luck which may in turn disguise a good fortune ”
    some hktv artist should learn from this saying.

    1. Good quote! I really hope that ALL HKTV artists will do well and wish them much success regardless of what happens.

  13. Sponsoring 12 children seems like a lot considering TVB never paid him that well in the first place. I wonder when did he started doing this.

  14. So, the HK government successfully bring down HKTV liao.

    This saying is really true.

    1. Yes and good quote Kidd. It is so sad that that had to happen. So many old sayings/quotes from back in the days still exist today.

    2. this saying is from centuries ago and in a modern democracy like hk anno 2014 this still happened is too sad.

  15. Why don’t you guys log onto or and get some reliable information as to why HKTV failed to launch his mobile television network. RW was warned by the HK govt of regulations in Jan 2014 so he wasn’t caught unaware as he claimed. By the way nobody put a gun to any artist and force him or her to stay at TVB for *** number of years. It’s a free market and those who chose to work did it at their own choice. So many gullible comments here based on rumours alone.

    1. No need to jump on the ‘Ricky Wong is the root of all evil’ bandwagon every chance you get. I’m sure those of us who’ve been following this issue closely for a long time already know all angles to the story. He’s definitely not a saint and no one is saying he is — but by the same token, doesn’t mean no one should be allowed to say anything positive about him either (especially if it’s fact). I don’t see any reason why people should ‘hate’ HKTV or its artists just because of this licensing situation, so no need to get offended that there are still people out there who support them.

      One thing I do agree with is that people should read the articles from the actual news outlets for accurate information on the issue rather than rely on the tabloids alone. There are actually quite a few good articles on the subject from SCMP — articles that tell all sides of the story, not just HKTV’s side (the editorials from SCMP on the issue are good as well…they cover all different perspectives from political to non-political).

      1. It’s hilarious, that you drew the assumption that I hate those HKTV artists from my comment. I simply said that any employee have the right to go and work elsewhere if he feels the conditions are unfair etc. Like this actor WC who left TVB after 33 years and have never stopped complaining about his previous employer. He could have moved on years ago if things were so bad. No need to get all worked up, I have nothing negative to say about RW just stating facts. It’s amusing though how he spent 140 million HKD buying a mobile TV license which is governed by regulations in the first place. Read Insight column SCMP dated March 19.

      2. Ricky is not a saint but he is not an evil person either so I don’t understand why so many seem to hate him so much. We all have our good and bad, but I do admire him for sacrificing so much money, effort and time just to end up like this. I am sure that he is really sad over it as well as all of the artists and staff that worked for and supported him.I told my mom about it today and she asked if it was because he violated the laws, but I said that I am not sure. However, it just seems like the government of HK as something against him so wants to knock him and everyone at HKTV at all costs.

  16. I think he’s a good actor too bad he left tvb =[

  17. feels great to see HKTV going downhill all those actors who badmouth TVB should look in the mirror without TVB they wouldn’t be where they at and secondly if every thing was so dark and unhappy why they kept working with TVB for sooo long they should have move over to ATV or Cable station or like many just go to Mainland/China.

    All these people who doesn’t credit the roots where they came from deserve what their getting right now. Suffer like HKTV!

    1. But some of the people who went to HKTV were talented actors/actresses who just never got recognized by tvb. 🙁

    2. How is it great to see other people’s misfortune unfold? They did not kill anyone. The main reason why they shifted to HKTV must’ve be largely due to financial reasons, if not, just the simple thought of being more respected/appreciated/needed by the company they work for. There is no wrong in wanting a better future and taking that step forward to change their future for the better. Little did they know something like this would happen, or even if they did, there would be a reason why they chose to risk it rather than stay employed at tbb.

      Even if they credit and continued to put in more effort than the benefits received from tbb, look at all the artists’ who had worked for tbb for more than 20 years..Yeah, tbb may have given them the start of their career, but what’s in a meaningful, longevity career when you don’t even receive the simple respect/appreciation or perhaps even any opportunities to be given a role??
      They worked for tvb for so long and continue working is perhaps they consider it as their family/home…afterall, tbb is such a dominant television network in HK and is well known..moving to ATV would be like telling them to end their career lol. And it’s not easy to just go to Mainland and work when HK would be the base home for most of the actors…I cant imagine verterans to just simply move to the Mainlands and make it big over there when in reality they would be competing against a lot of younger actors in which companies would much rather put all their investment and focus on to promote them instead.

      But yourself in their shoes mate.

      1. Well-said, Clementine!!! That’s the same argument that many of us tried to relay several years ago when the artists left TVB and were immediately labeled ‘traitors’ by the general public. Unfortunately, looks like there are still alot of close-minded people out there who can’t see beneath the surface and view those who leave the almighty TVB as ‘traitors’ or ‘bad people who deserve a cruel fate’ (it’s actually kind of sad in a way). Anyway, glad to see there are rational people out there to at least balance things out — otherwise, hate to see how our society will turn out…

    1. Wilson’s Chinese name is 徐威信 (Tsui Wai Shun). His stage name of 艾威 was given to him by late veteran actor Kwan Hoi San (關海山) back in the 90s, as Kwan was Wilson’s mentor and teacher. That’s the name he’s used since then (if you watch some of Wilson’s older series from the 80s, you’ll see his original name 徐威信 in the credits).

      1. I was confused about his name too. I always went by his real name which was still listed in the older series.

      2. Yea, it can definitely get confusing, especially since so many artists in the industry have stage names. Another ‘famous’ one to watch out for in terms of names is Bobby AuYeung — his Chinese name 歐陽震華 isn’t his real name either (he adopted that name — which he made up himself — in the mid 80s or so…there’s actually a funny story to why he chose that particular name). Bobby’s real name is 歐陽耀泉 (if you watch his older series from the earlier 80s, especially around the time he debuted in 1982, and you see 歐陽耀泉 in the credits — that’s Bobby).

      3. Thanks for the info llwy12! I never knew that. Another is Francis Ng whose real name is Ng chi keung and in the really old series when he was still playing an extra,his real name was still listed in the credits. I forgot when he changed his name to Ng chun Yu.

      4. OT but wait – Kwan Hoi San passed away?! When did that happen? I’ve been out of the loop for too long. Was just thinking of Kwan Hoi San the other day as one of the veteran actors whom I always enjoyed watching playing a rich old man. My aunt calls him ‘Hei Man’s dad’ as he played Dodo Cheng’s father in Man In The Net. lol. The other actor who also really excels at playing a wealthy old man is the father of Peter Pao (oscar winning cinematographer for CTHD)…forgot his name? He was so tall and distinguished looking. Sadly, he passed away too.

      5. Kwan Hoi San passed away many many years ago before Lydia Shum. I checked; he died in 2006, she died in 2008.

      6. Thanks llwy12 for the info. I didn’t even know Bobby Au Yeung’s name is also stage name!

      7. Thanks for the info, Funn Lim. Wow, so Kwan Hoi San passed away 8 years ago. Bao Fong passed away in 2006 too (I googled).

  18. Always said…never burnt all your bridges… you never know when it comes back to bite you!

  19. I am impressed after reading that ” Wilson financially sponsors twelve needy children in addition to supporting his elderly mother and his wife,..” at least he is a good guy…hope he can find a job or income no matter where he feel comfortable!

  20. He has about 10 to 20 year acting life left before grandfather retirement home time. Just go back to TVB and pressure the producers that you want a higher supporting actor. Otherwise have fun selling all your valuables.

  21. honestly, i admire his spirit. better to be poor and destitute than lose your soul.

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