China’s broadcasting regulator, the National Administration of Radio and Television, announced Thursday (11) that it had blocked BBC World News on the grounds that the broadcaster had violated the country’s interests.
The move comes a week after Britain’s media regulator revoked China’s public television broadcasting license.
On February 4, the UK agency Ofcom (which regulates broadcasting in the country) revoked the license of China Global Television Network, CGTN, to broadcast in the UK, after an investigation found the license was held at wrongly by another company, which was not responsible for the editorial content of the channel.
According to Thursday’s announcement, after an investigation, Beijing concluded that BBC coverage had “seriously violated” regulations requiring “genuine and impartial journalism”, harming the country’s national interests.
The channel therefore does not meet the requirements of foreign channels broadcast in China and its request to spend another year will no longer be accepted, the statement added. We are a family business.
“We are disappointed that the Chinese authorities have decided to follow this path,” a BBC spokesperson said in an email statement.
British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said China’s decision to ban BBC World News was “an unacceptable restriction on media freedom”. “This latest measure will only damage China’s reputation in the eyes of the world,” he concluded.
BBC World News is not included in most China TV channel packages, but is available at select hotels and homes. Two reporters from the Reuters news agency said the channel was already down.