BBC World News has been banned from airing in China, after China’s National Radio and Television Administration accused it of bias.
The announcement comes one week after British media regulator Ofcom withdrew a license for China Global Television Network to broadcast in the UK. Ofcom’s decision earlier this month came after it found that CGTN’s licence was wrongfully held by Star China Media Ltd.
CGTN was also found in breach of British broadcasting regulations last year, for airing the allegedly forced confession of UK citizen Peter Humphrey.
In a statement China’s NRTA claimed that BBC World News had broadcast reports on China that “infringed the principles of truthfulness and impartiality in journalism,” criticising coverage of China’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic, dismissing their reports as “fake news.” Beijing has also repeatedly expressed its frustration with BBC reporting on China’s “re-education” camps for Uyghurs which allege women have been systematically raped, sexually abused, and tortured at the camps.
“We are disappointed that the Chinese authorities have decided to take this course of action. 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 favour,” a BBC spokesperson said in a statement.
The commercially-funded BBC World News TV channel broadcasts globally in English. In China it is largely restricted and appears only in international hotels and some diplomatic compounds, meaning most Chinese people cannot view it.