UK revokes license for Chinese State Broadcaster CGTN

Broadcasting regulators in the United Kingdom have pulled the license for China Global Television Network (CGTN) in a bid to put an end to content that lacks “editorial responsibility”.

As per media reports, Ofcom on Thursday said that it had conducted an investigation into the company’s ownership structure and that CGTN’s parent company was beholden to Beijing.

“Our investigation showed that the license for China Global Television Network is held by an entity which has no editorial control over its programmes. 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,” Ofcom said.

“We now consider it appropriate to withdraw the license for CGTN to broadcast in the UK,” the agency added. It also said that Star China Media Limited “does not meet the legal requirement of having control over the licensed service.”

The regulators also rejected a proposal by CGTN to transfer the license to a new entity after finding that it would ultimately still be controlled by the Chinese Communist Party, and therefore disqualified under UK law.

“We’ve provided CGTN with numerous opportunities to come into compliance, but it has not done so. We now consider it appropriate to withdraw the license for CGTN to broadcast in the UK,” an Ofcom spokesperson said.

The channel will be removed from UK airwaves with immediate effect.

Ofcom had previously ruled that CGTN, which broadcasts in English, repeatedly breached impartiality standards with its coverage of pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong against the Beijing-imposed draconian National Security Law.

Meanwhile, CGTN claims it provides “global audiences with accurate and timely news coverage as well as rich audiovisual services, promoting communication and understanding between China and the world, and enhancing cultural exchanges and mutual trust between China and other countries.” (Singapore Post)

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