RTHK pulls plug on BBC after mainland ban - RTHK
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RTHK pulls plug on BBC after mainland ban

2021-02-12 HKT 00:46
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  • Beijing's media regulator say it's banning BBC World News. File image: Shutterstock
    Beijing's media regulator say it's banning BBC World News. File image: Shutterstock
Beijing's broadcasting regulator said in the early hours of Friday that it's banned BBC World News from Chinese territory for what state media described as "serious content violations" and RTHK has also decided to drop its live relay of the broadcaster.

The ban by mainland officials comes amid a dispute over the British broadcaster's reporting of the treatment of Uyghur Muslims in Xinjang, and follows a decision by the British broadcasting regulator to cancel the licence of Beijing-backed CGTN.

The official Xinhua news agency quoted the National Radio and Television Administration as saying: "As the channel fails to meet the requirements to broadcast in China as an overseas channel, BBC World News is not allowed to continue its service within Chinese territory.

"The NRTA will not accept the channel's broadcast application for the new year."

In a statement, RTHK said it would stop relaying the BBC World Service from 11pm on Friday. The live relay used to run from 11pm every night until 7am the following day.

In an emailed statement, a BBC spokeswoman said: "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."

English-language BBC World News is not included in most television channel packages on the mainland but is available in some hotels and residences.

Two Reuters journalists in China said the channel had gone blank on their screens. (RTHK/Reuters)
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Last updated: 2021-02-12 HKT 09:30