Britain’s foreign secretary has described the decision to ban BBC World News in China as an “unacceptable curtailing of media freedom”.
Broadcasting regulator, the State Film, TV and Radio Administration, said Thursday that the commercially-funded news channel had breached regulations on impartial reporting.
Dominic Raab said: “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.”
The move will be interpreted as a tit for tat action following Ofcom’s revocation of the licence for Chinese news channel CGTN in the UK after the regulator found the channel to be controlled by the Communist Party of China.
The BBC has also been criticised by China for its reporting of coronavirus and the persecution of the ethnic minority Uighurs.
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.
— Dominic Raab (@DominicRaab) February 11, 2021
“’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,” the BBC said in a statement.
The majority of Chinese will not be aware of the decision as BBC World News is largely restricted to international hotels and diplomatic compounds.
The BBC website and app are already unavailable in the country.