Tags: China | unitedkingdom | china | broadcast | communist

UK Regulator Pulls Chinese Broadcaster's License for Ties to Communist Party

UK Regulator Pulls Chinese Broadcaster's License for Ties to Communist Party
(China Photos/Getty Images)

By    |   Thursday, 04 February 2021 09:23 PM

The United Kingdom's communications regulator revoked the broadcast license of a Chinese media company Thursday because it was controlled by the communist government.

The Office of Communications discovered the license holder had no editorial control over the state-owned China Global Television Network, an English-language satellite news channel. 

The agency said the Chinese Communist Party was in charge of the network, per NPR.

CGTN was among Chinese state media outlets the U.S. designated last March under former President Donald Trump as a "foreign mission" of the CCP.

Ofcom, the commonly used name for the regulator, said it found two significant problems with license holder Star China Media Limited.

First, the company violated U.K. broadcasting laws by not owning editorial oversight over its programs. SCML, therefore, was a distributor and not a content provider.

Then, a transfer of SCML's license to another Chinese entity, the China Global Television Network Corporation, was denied because Ofcom said that company was "ultimately controlled by the Chinese Communist Party."

U.K. law bars broadcast license holders from being controlled by political organizations.

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

Ofcom added it also was considering possible sanctions to apply, separate from pulling the news outlet's license.

Last year, Ofcom faulted CGTN for two major breaches of U.K. policy, including not having been impartial in its coverage of the Hong Kong protests.

Also, after a U.K. private investigator said the channel was wrong to air what he said was a forced confession, Ofcom sided with the investigator, who had been detained while looking into corporate fraud.

The private investigator, Peter Humphrey, told NPR he was happy with Thursday's decision.

"Thank goodness, finally, this license has been taken away," Humphrey said. "Considering the kind of brutal human rights violations that CGTN has been involved with, extracting and packaging forced confessions from prisoners held under torture in China who've never been in front of a judge, I just think that we should have no organization like that on our soil."

Three other Ofcom investigations, focused on fairness and privacy protections surrounding CGTN content, were ongoing.

CGTN, the international arm of China Central Television, airs in more than 160 countries. According to its website, it has headquarters in Beijing and production centers in London, Washington, D.C., and Nairobi.


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Politics
The United Kingdom's communications regulator revoked the broadcast license of a Chinese media company Thursday because it was controlled by the communist government. The Office of Communications discovered the license holder had no editorial control over the state-owned...
unitedkingdom, china, broadcast, communist
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2021-23-04
Thursday, 04 February 2021 09:23 PM
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