UK broadcast regulator revokes licence of CGTN

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Ofcom revoked CGTN's license after it concluded that the license holder lacked editorial control, while Beijing lodged an official complaint over the BBC's COVID-19 coverage.
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Britain’s media regulator on Thursday revoked a Chinese TV license after it concluded that the license holder lacked editorial control, while Beijing lodged an official complaint over the BBC’s COVID-19 coverage.

The British communications regulator Ofcom said it found that the entity that held the channel’s license, Star China Media Limited, didn’t have editorial responsibility for CGTN’s output, which is a licensing requirement.

“We are unable to approve the application to transfer the license to China Global Television Network Corporation because it is ultimately controlled by the Chinese Communist Party, which is not permitted under UK broadcasting law.”

CGTN is an English-language Chinese channel and had been available on free and pay TV in the UK.

Meanwhile, China said it had lodged “stern representations” to the British Broadcasting Corp over “fake news” coverage of COVID-19, and urged the broadcaster to publicly apologize.

China’s foreign ministry complained about a broadcast on January 29 about the coronavirus, saying that the BBC had recently “linked the pandemic to politics” and “rehashed theories about covering up by China.”

It said the BBC used a clip to say the Chinese virus prevention department had used violence to enforce the law, when it was actually an anti-terrorism exercise clip.

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