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SRF breakdown studios – Now Swiss television has to get specialists from China to help


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The SRF cannot get its new breakdown studios under control. As CH-Media reports, specialists from China are now deployed. However, the NDB warns of industrial espionage, the SRF weighs it down.

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The SRF does not seem to get the breakdown series around the studios of the new sports and news center under control on its own. Chinese experts should now fix the problems.

20min / Marco Zangger

The new studios went into operation two years later than planned.  Since then there have been several breakdowns.  In mid-December, the “sports panorama” had to be canceled in the middle.

The new studios went into operation two years later than planned. Since then there have been several breakdowns. In mid-December, the “sports panorama” had to be canceled in the middle.

20min / Matthias Spicher

Despite warnings from the NDB, the SRF has no concerns about the Chinese support.  You have secured yourself technically and contractually, said Andreas Lattmann, Head of Technology Management at SRF, the «Aargauer Zeitung».

Despite warnings from the NDB, the SRF has no concerns about the Chinese support. You have secured yourself technically and contractually, said Andreas Lattmann, Head of Technology Management at SRF, the «Aargau Newspaper».

20min / Marco Zangger

  • The new television studios in the SRF news and sports center are still not working properly. Apparently only specialists from China can fix this.

  • However, the Swiss secret service NDB warns of factory espionage from China. Chinese activities are increasingly a threat to Switzerland.

  • However, the SRF feels safe and refers to contractual safeguards.

The series of breakdowns at SRF does not stop. After the television studios in the new news and sports center went into operation last year with a good two years delay and with it ten million francs of additional fee money gobbled up, the technology still does not seem to work. Had to in mid-December the «sports panorama» can even be canceled – because of the technology, as it was called by the SRF. Now Chinese specialists have to solve the problem, like the newspapers of the CH-Media to report.

Specifically, it’s about the relatively new editing system «Hive» from Sony. It is the successor to the one used by many TV stations, but it is getting on in years «Sonaps». Since Sony was unable to solve the problem on the second level of its customer service in December, the third level has now been used, explains Andreas Lattmann, Head of Technology Management at SRF, the «Aargau Newspaper».

Experts from China have to solve it

«Technical support from Sony Europe, based in the Netherlands, and an operational technician from Germany were called in. He then turned to specialists in China. ” The technicians work for the company Sobey, which is headquartered in Chengdu, central China.

The fact that Chinese technicians are used is also not an isolated case. In previous cases, specialists in Zurich had already been on site in the studios at Leutschenbach. “To support commissioning and to correct errors,” says Lattmann. This time, however, nobody traveled from China to Zurich for the current repairs; the specialists switched themselves into the Swiss television system from outside, as it was said.

But: A Chinese specialist should be on site again soon. Swiss television is currently trying to get a visa, explains Lattmann. According to this, the technician should solve existing problems and bring the new editing system to television in western Switzerland.

“Defense against espionage activities requires more and more effort”

In this context, it is explosive that the Federal Intelligence Service (NDB) has been warning against espionage by Chinese companies for years. in the Management report 2021 the FIS writes: “China’s espionage activities represent a major threat to Switzerland.” It is therefore to be expected that foreign intelligence services will be leading, companies based in Switzerland will be increasingly targeted.

This applies to companies in the fields of information technology, chemical and pharmaceutical technology, mobility, renewable energies and defense technology. «The defense against proliferation and espionage attempts requires more and more attention and effort.»

And further: «China is consistently pursuing its civil-military merger approach. Goods that it tries to procure in Switzerland are regularly technically close to ongoing capabilities of the military.»

Concerns like this are dispelled with Swiss television. SRF technical director Lattmann said: It was both technically and contractually secured that support staff did not have access to any content data or any other information relevant to data protection or that they could not download it.

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