China has banned the BBC World News just a week after the UK stripped Chinese owned CGTN of its license in Britain. The Chinese National Radio and Television Administration issued a statement saying the BBC was barred from airing or broadcasting in China.
According to the regulator, BBC had “seriously violated” requirements that news reporting be “true and impartial” and undermined China’s national interests and ethnic solidarity.
As a result, BBC failed to meet requirements for foreign channels broadcasting in China and its application to air for another year will be denied, it added.
The BBC World News is not included in most Chinese TV packages, however, it is available in a number of hotels and residents can still subscribe to it.
BBC issued a statement saying it was “disappointed” by the decision
“We are disappointed that the Chinese authorities have decided to take this course of action. The BBC is the word’s most trusted international news broadcaster and reports on stories from around the world fairly, impartially and without fear or favour.”
British foreign minister Dominic Raab cited China’s decision as “unacceptable” and damaged China’s global standing.
“China’s decision to ban BBC World News in mainland China is an unacceptable curtailing of media freedom,” Raab said on Twitter.
“China has some of the most severe restrictions on media & internet freedoms across the globe, & this latest step will only damage China’s reputation in the eyes of the world,” he added.
The US state department also chimed in on the issue, calling China’s decision “troubling”
“We absolutely condemn the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) decision to ban BBC World News, the PRC maintains one of the most controlled most impressive least free information spaces in the world. It’s troubling that as the PRC restricts outlets and platforms from operating freely in China Beijing’s leaders, use free and open media environments overseas to promote misinformation,” State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters.
“We call on the PRC and other nations with authoritarian controls over their population to allow their full access to the internet and media.”
The move comes barely a week after the BBC aired a report detailing harrowing experiences Uighur women go through in Chinese camps. The topic which has been a sore subject for China, reported tales of alleged torture and sexual violence against the women detainees by police and guards in Xinjiang.
British Media Regulator, Ofcom, revoked CGTN’s license in Britain on Feb 4, 2021. An investigation by the regulator had revealed that the license was wrongfully held by Star China Ltd.
China said Ofcom’s decision to strip CGTN of its license was based on “ideological prejudice and political reasons.”