The story of Robert Chua
50+ years of broadcasting experience involving all aspects of television production and distribution
1967,Robert inspecting TVB’s site with Mr Collin Bednell TVB’s first general manager
Nov 1966/ May 1967: At 20 years of age, Robert becomes Singapore’s youngest TV producer of programs in the Mandarin, English and Malay languages. His ability, contribution and production output exceeds that of all senior producers.
1967: Robert Chua was offered a job with TVB by telegram in early 1967. He departed for Hong Kong to report for work on May 21, 1967, the day after celebrating his 21st birthday. He was one of many “senior production executives” and was responsible for recruiting and training production staff.
At 21, the youngest executive at Hong Kong’s new start-up terrestrial broadcaster, Television Broadcasts, Robert Chua creates a new variety show, “ Enjoy Yourself Tonight (EYT.)” TVB’s first ever live show, the five nights per week EYT shoots immediately to the number one rated slot and lasts more than 30 years. Its multi-presenter and guest format is quickly copied by rival channels.
In recognition of his abilities and energy, he received a 32 per cent pay increase four months after starting work with TVB and was promoted to Assistant Program Manager by the time TVB launched. He rose to Production Manager and then Special Assistant to the Managing Director. During his time at TVB, Robert Chua created Asia’s longest lasting variety show, Enjoy Yourself Tonight and discovered many television talents.
1972: Produced Hong Kong’s first ever ‘live’ TV charity show ” Operation Relief” on 24th June. It raised a record $8.65 million during the show. Bruce Lee was one of the star that appeared on the show.
Robert with Bruce Lee and Raymond Chow (Golden Harvest Film), 19701973: The first Miss Hong Kong pageant was held. Created and produced by Robert Chua, Miss Hong Kong gradually became the premier glamour event in the colony. Facing cultural resistance in the early stages, Miss Hong Kong soon established itself as a coveted title leading to success, wealth and great fame for many contestants.
1973: Robert Chua produced Hong Kong’s first show which was staged overseas, a screening of Enjoy Yourself Tonight produced in cooperation with Radio and Television Singapore technicians and crew to benefit charity.
1974: Hong Kong’s first independent production company, Robert Chua Production House Co Ltd (RCP) opens for business, producing many successful commercials for the public and private sectors as well as corporate videos. Later the company became heavily involved in selling airtime and marketing foreign television programs to Chinese channels.
Silver Jubilee’s production team, 1977April, 1975: Hong Kong’s first independent producer for then ‘Rediffusion Television Ltd’ (now known as ATV.) Produced a 26 episode, half hour series of a musical show entitled “Robert Chua Presents.” The musical show ` Robert Chua Presents’ becomes the first TV show in Hong Kong to bear the producer’s name, indicative of Mr Chua’s position as the undisputed top producer of light entertainment television.
1976: Forms Hong Kong’s first off line TV production facility, Video Centre. The facility specialises in videotaping special events, weddings and parties.
1977: The Queen of England’s Silver Jubilee is celebrated in Hong Kong at a grand multiscreen stadium event produced by Mr Chua. The biggest multiscreen event ever held in Hong Kong, the show won praise from top levels of Government.
1977: Started Hong Kong’s first independent TV facilicating production company, named “Conic TV Studio“, eventually selling out his shares in 1983. After a change of name, the company is now the leading facilicating digital production company in Asia
Signing advertising contract with CCTV offical in 1979 for the nation wide Citizen Watch time check1979: Became the first media company to sell foreign TV advertising directly into China, securing exclusive deals with TV stations in Guangdong, Fokkien, Sichuan and Henan provinces. Landed an advertising deal with Citizen Watch providing the time check for Beijing’s China Central Television (CCTV,) Guangdong TV (GDTV,) and Fujian TV and a sports program sponsorship deal for Seiko in Guangdong. As an act of good faith, the Chuas deposited HK$1 million (then about US$200,000) into a Chinese bank as a guarantee of securing future advertising revenue for Guangdong TV.
1979: Financed and introduced the first closed circuit TV on trains running between Hong Kong and mainland China in his capacity as consultant to the Chinese Railway Authority.
1981: Started Singapore’s first independent TV facilicating production company, name “RCP-TVStudios”
Robert gave travellers on the train from HK to Guangzhou some much needed entertainment.1981: Distributed China’s first hospitality magazine produced outside the country – a Shanghai tourist industry brochure – in cooperation with Hong Kong newspaper the South China Morning Post.
1981: RCP created, produced and distributed China’s first 26 half-hour episode ABC series of English learning programs in China. Hosted by Mr Chua’s wife Peggy, these proved highly successful and were rescreened in many parts of the country.
1982: Produced a series of China export promotion videos distributed free to Chinese embassies around the world.
1983: Started Singapore’s largest permanent live concert venue ” Hoover Live Theater” facilicating local and Asian singers.
The Chuas with some Chinese TV officals, 19801984: Robert Chua became the first distributor of foreign TV programs in China, handling product from Lorimar, Metromedia and Silverbach Lazarus.
1984: A 12 million circulation Communist Party newsletter `Information Reference’ lauds Mr Chua in a prominent article, describing him as a TV Whiz Kid.
Silver Jubilee’s production team, 1977
Signing advertising contract with CCTV offical in 1979 for the nation wide Citizen Watch time check
Robert gave travellers on the train from HK to Guangzhou some much needed entertainment.
The Chuas with some Chinese TV officals, 1980
1984: Robert Chua created and produced Hong Kong’s first situation comedy ‘Guess who’s coming to Yum Cha‘, an English language pilot starring local celebrities GiGi Wong and Stuart Wolfendale. Mr Chua responded vigorously to critics of the show.
1986: Appointed consultant to Hutchison Whampoa Co’s cable television license application. Proposed a China Cable Channel.
1988: Created and produced Hong Kong’s first video publication `Le Club,’ an innovative adult infotainment video sold at newspaper vendors and video outlets.
1989: Robert Chua is the first media figure to visit China a month after the Tiananmen Square incident, at the invitation of the Shanghai Ministry of Radio and Television. He helped rebuild bridges between the mainland, Hong Kong and the rest of the world
1990: Hong Kong’s most successful Interactive telephone `audiotext’ pioneer, launching several highly popular public services including the `Squidgy’ tapes featuring the Princess of Wales and a `Guess your Age’ game. Another service provided details of a topical court case. He later ceased operation because he refused to accept the adult chat line business.
1993 Aug: Shanghai Broadcast Association “Honorary Member (Director)”
1994: Established the 24 hour CETV satellite family channel with the marketing tag `No Sex, No Violence, No News.’ Test broadcasting for 100 days began on 1st December 1994.
1995: CETV began full broadcasting in Mandarin language to audiences around Asia on 11th March. CETV became the first satellite TV channel outside of China to jointly produce a live New Year variety show with a mainland province (Shandong Satellite TV) followed by many other provinces. The following year, in March, Rupert Murdoch launches Hong Kong based Mandarin language channel Phoenix with Chinese partners.
In 1989, the Chuas met with Shanghai vice mayor Mr Liu Zhen Yuan and Head of TV/Radio Bureau Mr Gong Xue Ping
Asia Magazine, January 21-23, 1994
December 1996: Robert Chua is the only Hong Kong television media executive invited to attend the sixth Annual National Congress of Chinese Federation of Literary and Art Circles, attended by Chinese President Jiang Zemin. One of only 13 guests from Hong Kong, Mr Chua represented the media industry at this massive event which attracted 1,350 attendees.
1997 June: Robert Chua is invited to attend the ceremony to mark the handover of Hong Kong to the People’s Republic of China.
1997: Robert Chua is invited to be a member of the Association for the Celebration of the Reunification of Hong Kong with China.
1997 July : Appointed guest professor of News and Media Studies, Nanjing University, China.
1997 June: CETV broadcasts 100 hours of live coverage of Hong Kong’s handover celebrations.
1997 Sept: Project-Hope “Honorary Certificate”
1997: CETV forms first joint venture production house with the powerful Chinese Xinhua News Agency to produce documentaries.
1999 Dec: Formed a dotcom company named “ComplainAsia Dotcom Company Limited” (ComplainAsia.com) targeted at the Asian region.
2000 June : Time Warner Inc announces a strategic alliance with CETV. Robert Chua retains his shares in CETV and stays on as chairman also responsible for on-air content.
2000 Aug : Created an innovative internet service www.NumbersTo.com that allows users to register all their web address (Emails, WAP, ICQ etc..) to their telephone number.
2001 Nov :Robert Chua appointed as Honorary Committee member of Monte Carlo Television Festival Headed by Honorary Chairman Dick Wolf. H.S.H Crown Prince Albert is the President of the Festival.
2002 Jan :Robert Chua appointed to Banff Television Foundation Board of Governors.
2002 Apr :US based CAA becomes Robert Chua’s agent for programme formats.
2002 Dec :Appointed Consultant to Shanghai Oriental TV Entertainment Channel.
2003 Jan : 1st January Shanghai premiered “Everyone Wins” an original international Quiz/Game show created by Robert Chua. A first for a show to be aired seven nights a week at prime time (8 pm). Within months became the top Quiz/Game Show.
2004 Sept :Foundered Asia first 24 hours interactive channel (TIC) and test broadcast over Hong Kong CableTV with 680,000 households.
2004 Oct :Appointed to Rose D’ OR Advisory Board, the world’s premier festival for television entertainment. The Rose d’Or Advisory Board is composed of industry leaders and is chaired by David Liddiment, the Executive Director of the Old Vic Theatre, London.
2005:Appointed to the NATPE Board(USA), NATPE is a global, non-profit organization dedicated to the creation, development and distribution of televised programming in all forms across all mature and emerging media platforms. NATPE develops and nurtures opportunities, both commercial and educational, for the buying, selling and sharing of content and ideas.
2006: Robert Chua’s the Interactive Channel Wins The 2006 International Interactive TV Award
2008 Jul :Appointed as a Consultant to Shanghai SMG’s Channel Young.
2010 :Appointed to Advisory Board of the Hong Kong Association of Media Veterans Ltd.
The Chuas with Mr. Zhou Nan,
China News Agency, 1997