UK revokes China Global Television Network’s broadcasting license

Britain’s media regulator on Thursday revoked a Chinese television license after concluding that the Chinese Communist Party had ultimate editorial responsibility for the channel as Beijing filed an official complaint over the BBC’s COVID-19 coverage, Reuters reports.

Britain and China have been trading pikes for months over Beijing’s crackdown on dissent in Hong Kong, concerns over the security of Huawei technology, and the treatment of Uyghur Muslims in China’s remote Xinjiang region.

After investigation, British regulator Ofcom concluded that China Global Television Network (CGTN), an international Chinese English-language channel, was ultimately controlled by the Communist Party.

“Our investigation has shown that the license of China Global Television Network is held by an entity which has no editorial control over its programs,” Ofcom said.

“We are unable to approve the license transfer request to China Global Television Network Corporation, as it is ultimately controlled by the Chinese Communist Party, which is not permitted by UK Broadcasting Act.”

Minutes after Ofcom’s statement, China said it filed “Severe representations” to the British Broadcasting Corp for what she said “fake news” coverage of COVID-19, and urged the broadcaster to publicly apologize.

China’s Foreign Ministry complained about the January 29 coverage of the coronavirus, saying the BBC had recently “Linked the pandemic to politics” and “Theories rehashed on the cover-up by China”.

He said the publicly funded BBC used a clip to say that China’s virus prevention department used violence to enforce the law, when it was in fact about a clip on an anti-terrorism exercise.

“China urges BBC Beijing office to take China’s position seriously,” said the ministry. The BBC, he said, should “Stop harboring ideological prejudices, stop sullying China, uphold professional ethics, and report objectively and fairly about China.”

The BBC said it was sticking to its “An accurate and fair account of events in China and totally rejects these unfounded accusations of false news or ideological bias.”

“The BBC is the world’s most trusted international broadcaster, reporting to a global audience of over 400 million people every week without fear or favor. “ added his statement.

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