BBC World News banned in China in broadcast retaliation
BBC World News has been banned from airing in China in an apparent act of retaliation after the UK withdrew the licence of the country’s state broadcaster.
China’s National Radio and Television Administration (NRTA) today said it was pulling the service off air due to “serious content violations”, CGTN reported.
The regulator claimed the BBC had “seriously violated” the requirement for news reporting to be true and impartial, adding that its China-related coverage had “undermined China’s national interests and ethnic solidarity”.
“As the channel fails to meet the requirements to broadcast in China as an overseas channel, BBC World News is not allowed to continue its service within Chinese territory. The NRTA will not accept the channel’s broadcast application for the new year,” the regulator was quoted as saying.
The BBc responded tonight, saying it was “disappointed” by the move.
“The BBC is the world’s most-trusted international news broadcaster and reports of stories from around the world fairly, impartially, and without fear or favour.”
UK foreign secretary Dominic Raab described the ban as “an unacceptable curtailing of media freedom”.
It comes a week after Ofcom withdrew CGTN’s right to broadcast in the UK following an investigation into its links with Beijing.
The media watchdog’s probe found the owner of China Global Television Network did not have control over its day-to-day output and was a distributor rather than a provider.
This meant it did not meet the legal requirement to broadcast in the UK.
The BBC’s websites are already blocked in mainland China, alongside hundreds of other sites including Facebook, Google and Wikipedia.