China bans BBC; 'unacceptable curtailing of media freedom,' says UK

Siddhant Pandey
·2-min read

China bans BBC;
China bans BBC;

12 Feb 2021: China bans BBC; 'unacceptable curtailing of media freedom,' says UK

In a controversial move, China's broadcasting regulator on Thursday banned BBC World News.

The move follows China's criticism of BBC's reportage on coronavirus—which was first reported in China's Wuhan city—and the persecution of ethnic minority Uighurs in the country.

British media regulator Ofcom had also recently revoked state broadcaster China Global Television Network's (CGTN) license to broadcast in the UK.

Here are more details.

Details: BBC 'seriously violated' broadcast guidelines, says China

China's National Radio and Television Administration said BBC World News reports about China were found to "seriously violate" broadcast guidelines.

That includes "the requirement that news should be truthful and fair" and not "harm China's national interests," it said.

The broadcasting regulator "does not permit the BBC to continue broadcasting in China, and does not accept its new annual application for broadcast," it added.

BBC: BBC 'disappointed' by China's latest ban

The BBC said it was "disappointed" with the ban, which applies to mainland China.

The BBC website and its app are already banned in China and the channel was already censored and restricted to international hotels.

"The BBC is the world's most trusted international news broadcaster and reports on stories from around the world fairly, impartially and without fear or favor," a spokesperson said.

UK: Unacceptable curtailing of media freedom: UK Foreign Secretary

UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab called the ban "an unacceptable curtailing of media freedom."

"China has some of the most severe restrictions on media and internet freedoms across the globe, and this latest step will only damage China's reputation in the eyes of the world," Raab tweeted.

The US State Department called the ban a part of a wider campaign to suppress free media.

Fact: US asks China to allow full access to internet, media

US State Department spokesperson Ned Price told reporters, "We call on the PRC (People's Republic of China) and other nations with authoritarian controls over their population to allow their full access to the internet and media."

Background: Ofcom recently revoked CGTN's license to broadcast in UK

Earlier this month, Ofcom had found that CGTN's license was wrongfully held by Star China Media Ltd.

CGTN had also breached British broadcasting regulations last year by airing the allegedly forced confession of UK citizen Peter Humphrey.

Chinese telecom group Huawei is also banned from involvement in its 5G network in Britain after the United States raised spying fears.