China’s National Radio and Television Administration (NRTA) announced Friday that BBC World News, the BBC’s worldwide news television service, would be discontinued in China following reports of serious violations under Chinese rules and regulations. Following this ban, Hong Kong’s public broadcaster- Radio Television Hong Kong (RTHK) pulled the plug on the live relay of BBC World Service radio, which used to run from 11 pm until 7 am daily.
According to the statement released by the NRTA, BBC World News’s China-related reports were in violation of provisions under the Administrative Rules on Radio and Television Broadcasters’ Establishment of Microwave Stations and the Measures for the Administration of the Landing of Overseas Satellite Television Channels. The Regulations stipulate that news reported should be “truthful and fair”; but according to the NRTA, the news reported harmed China’s national interests and undermined its unity.
The Chinese regulator also said that it would not accept BBC World News’ application for landing in the new year.
British foreign secretary Dominic Raab criticized the move on Twitter:
China’s decision to ban BBC World News in mainland China is an unacceptable curtailing of media freedom. 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.
Earlier this month, Ofcom, UK’s communications regulator, revoked China Global Television Network’s (CGTN) license to broadcast in the UK, after an investigation revealed ties to the Chinese Community Party and showed that the license was wrongfully held by Star China Media Limited.