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One week after the UK revoked the licence of CGTN, China’s public service broadcaster, Beijing made a counter-attack and banned the BBC’s World News. UK regulatory body Ofcom determined the channel is “ultimately controlled by the Chinese Communist Party”. Now, following Beijing’s lead, Hong Kong’s public service broadcaster has said it will also stop airing BBC World Service radio.
China’s National Radio and Television Administration claimed that BBC World News had “seriously violated” its broadcast codes.
Bejing said that one requirement to broadcast in China was that news must be “truthful and fair”.
Beijing went on to claim that BBC World News broadcasts had harmed China’s interests and undermined national unity.
China’s embassy in London accused the BBC of “relentless fabrication”.
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Following the UK’s decision Germany has also decided to ban the Chinese state-owned broadcaster.
The Chinese cable channel CGTN no longer has permission to be broadcast in Germany,
A press spokesperson for the state media authority of North Rhine-Westphalia confirmed on Friday that Germany would follow the UK’s decision in banning CGTN.
They said: “We are currently informing cable providers that Ofcom has revoked this channel’s UK license and that the program can therefore not be broadcast in Germany anymore.”
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After Ofcom revoked CGTN’s license on February 4, the media platform was then not eligible for permission to broadcast in several European countries, including Germany.
Vodafone Germany has already ended distribution for the channel.
This week Vodafone Germany said it had suspended the distribution of CGTN.
Vodafone’s cable services have withdrawn their licence for Beijing’s state-owned media platform’s distribution.
On Friday Vodaphone announced it hoped to resume distribution, but needed a valid licence to do so.
A Vodaphone announcement stated: “We are currently in discussions regarding the withdrawal of the licence.
“This is both with regional media authorities and the broadcaster’s representatives.
“We hope to clarify the legal situation.”
Now, other broadcast companies in Germany will have to stop airing CGTN.
CGTN will now have to apply for a new license from Ofcom if it wants to broadcast in the UK and in other European nations.
Ofcom revoked the licence because it found that CGTN had “no editorial control over its programs”.
Ofcom maintains that CGTN is “ultimately controlled by the Chinese Communist Party”.
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