BBC World News has been barred from airing in the Chinese mainland, state media announced Friday local time, about a week after a U.K. media regulator took away a Chinese state media outlet’s license.

A BBC spokesperson confirmed the ban to The Hill in a Thursday statement, saying it is “disappointed” in Beijing’s 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,” the spokesperson said.

The Global Times, a Chinese English newspaper, reported that the National Radio and Television Administration (NRTA) is banning BBC World News from Chinese airwaves, saying it had “infringed the principles of truthfulness and impartiality in journalism.” 

The NRTA issued a statement saying an investigation determined that the U.K. television broadcaster’s reports on China “seriously violated” regulations that mandate news organizations to be “truthful and fair,” Reuters reported. Because of those alleged violations, BBC’s application to air in China will be denied, preventing anyone in the Chinese mainland from viewing its broadcast. 

“Chinese observers said the BBC has turned into ‘a rumor mill’ that deliberately throws mud at China, and the decision to suspend its broadcast sends a clear message that China doesn’t accept fake news,” the Global Times wrote. 

The Global Times cited BBC coverage that it called “biased,” including its report last week that rape and torture is rampant in the camps where China is keeping Uighurs, a Muslim minority group. China’s foreign ministry previously dismissed the BBC report as not being based on facts. 

The banning comes after the U.K. media regulator Ofcom revoked the license from the media outlet China Global Television Network (CGTN), the sister channel to state broadcaster CCTV. Ofcom determined in an investigation that license holder Star China Media Ltd. didn’t actually have editorial oversight over the outlet.

CGTN had asked for its license ownership to be moved to China Global Television Network Corporation. But Ofcom denied that request, saying “crucial information” was not present in the application, and the transfer would in the end give the Chinese Communist Party control over the outlet.

Soon after, China‘s Foreign <inistry alleged the BBC published “fake news” in its reporting on COVID-19, saying it “rehashed theories about covering up by China,” according to Reuters

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin cautioned last week that China could make a “necessary response.”

Tags BBC BBC ban Censorship in China China Chinese state media Mass media Mass media in China
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