UK Communication Office bans Chinese Network, claims ties to CCP

The UK Office for Communications (Ofcom) has barred the China Global Television Network (CGTN) from airing in the UK. It comes after the agency claimed that the Chinese Communist Party has control over the network and its broadcasts.

The issue

Ofcom claims there are two primary issues surrounding this channel and its airing in the UK. Primarily, the license holder (Star China Media Limited) has no editorial control over the network. This is illegal under UK law. Furthermore, broadcast laws also disallow political bodies from controlling broadcast license holders, and Ofcom claims that the CCP has ultimate control of this network’s broadcasting.

Past occurrences

Ofcom also accused CGTN of two breaches of UK policy in 2020. They were faulted for inadequate coverage of the Hong Kong protests in late 2019. They also aired coerced confessions from prisoners outside of a court.

An Ofcom spokesperson released a statement saying that CGTN has been “provided numerous opportunities to come into compliance but has not done so”. | Image: CGTN

Ongoing investigations

There are still three ongoing Ofcom investigations surrounding CGTN broadcasts, voicing concerns over fairness and privacy. These may carry individual sanctions, separate from the decision to withdraw the network from UK television.

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