China bans BBC for ‘slew of falsified reporting’ on Xinjiang, handling of coronavirus; days after British media watchdog bans Chinese TV


In what appears to be tit-for-tat action, China has banned BBC World in the country for a ‘slew of falsified reporting’ on the treatment of Uighurs in the Xinjiang province and the country’s handling of coronavirus.

BBC World News

BBC presenter Yalda Hakim took to Twitter to write, “BREAKING: BBC has been banned in China. The report said the BBC was responsible for a ‘slew of falsified reporting’ on issues including Xinjiang and China’s handling of coronavirus. It went on to say that ‘fake news’ is not tolerated in China.”

BBC’s Middle East correspondent Martin Patience said that the extraordinary action by the Chinese authority must be seen in the light of British media regulator, Ofcom, banning the China Global Television Network in the UK. Patience wrote, “Context from a week ago: The Chinese state broadcaster CGTN has lost its broadcast licence in the UK after Ofcom concluded that the news network, formerly known as CCTV, was ultimately controlled by the Chinese Communist party.”

On 4 February, the Ofcom had cancelled the licence for CGTN to broadcast in the UK, after its investigation concluded that the licence was wrongfully held by Star China Media Limited. The Ofcom, in its judgment, had said, “In the UK, broadcasting laws made by Parliament state that broadcast licensees must have control over the licensed service – including editorial oversight over the programmes they show. In addition, under these laws, licence holders cannot be controlled by political bodies.

“Our investigation concluded that Star China Media Limited (SCML), the licence-holder for the CGTN service, did not have editorial responsibility for CGTN’s output. As such, SCML does not meet the legal requirement of having control over the licensed service, and so is not a lawful broadcast licensee.”

The Ofcom had added that it was unable to grant an application to transfer the licence to an entity called China Global Television Network Corporation (CGTNC) because ‘crucial information was missing from the application’ the media watchdog considered that CGTNC would be disqualified from holding a licence, as it is controlled by a body which is ultimately controlled by the Chinese Communist Party.


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