Follow BBC News

Critics see "warning to foreign media" : China stops broadcasting the BBC

China stopped broadcasting the UK international broadcaster BBC World News on Friday. The move, justified with sharp criticism of journalistic articles about China, was based on the withdrawal of the broadcasting license of the state Chinese foreign broadcaster CGTN in Great Britain. The British media regulator Ofcom had justified the ban a week ago with a lack of independence.

The end of the limited broadcasting of the BBC program in China met with sharp criticism from the British government and the broadcaster in London. In any case, BBC World Service could not be seen by a broad audience in China, as it was only allowed in international hotels, residential complexes with many foreigners and a few other places with international connections. The censors also always intervened and blocked out the picture as soon as reports critical of China came in.

The Club of Foreign Correspondents in China (FCCC) criticized the ban and its rationale for not reporting truthfully and "undermining the national interests of China and its national unity". The club expressed concern that the wording was intended to "warn foreign media in China that they face punitive measures if their reports on Xinjiang and other minority regions do not follow the party line."

[If you want to have the most important news from Berlin, Germany and the world live on your mobile phone, we recommend our completely redesigned app, which you can download here for Apple and Android devices.]

After the Chinese foreign broadcaster CGTN was banned in Great Britain, the government in Beijing had already intensified its criticism of the BBC and accused it of “fake news”. Reports from the British broadcaster about allegations of rape in re-education camps for Uyghurs in the northwest region of Xinjiang, the democracy movement in the former British crown colony of Hong Kong and the fight against the corona pandemic in Wuhan were canceled.

After the BBC was banned in China, the public broadcaster RTHK in Hong Kong also stopped the nightly automatic broadcast of the program from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. in the morning. British Foreign Minister Dominic Raab saw an “unacceptable restriction on freedom of the press”. "China has some of the toughest restrictions on media and internet freedom in the world, and this latest move will only damage China's reputation in the eyes of the world."

The BBC was disappointed: "The BBC is the world's most trustworthy international news channel and reports fair, impartial and without fear or favor on stories from all over the world." After the ban on the BBC, the US news channel CNN is the last major English-language TV Foreign channels in China. It is also only broadcast in hotels and residential complexes for foreigners. In the case of content that is critical of China, the censorship also immediately intervenes and interrupts the transmission. (dpa)

Now new: We give you 4 weeks of Tagesspiegel Plus! To home page