CGTN resumes broadcasting license in Great Britain

British broadcaster Ofcom announced on Thursday that it had revoked the license of CGTV, the offshore division of China Central Television. The reason given by the authority was an investigation into which the broadcast license was wrongly held by Star China Media Limited.

While this reads like a technical matter, the regulator stated that licensees should have editorial control over the licensed service. In addition, license holders cannot be controlled by political authorities. CGTN violates both of these points because editorial control rests with CCTV, which is eventually controlled by the Chinese Communist Party. Star China Media also stated, “not a distributor and service provider of CGTN service in the UK”.

The statement said, “In addition, IncomeCam was unable to apply for a license transfer to a company called China Global Television Network Corporation (CGTNC). This is because important information was missing from the application and we believe that CGTNC will be barred from holding licenses because it is controlled by an entity that is ultimately controlled by the Chinese Communist Party.

CGTN was previously found to be in violation of com’s broadcasting code because coverage of Hong Kong protests was not impartially covered. This constituted a “serious breach”. Against the fairness and data protection rules of the United Kingdom .com would now have to initiate separate sanctions proceedings against CGTN.

Thecom decision is directed against the broadcast operations of the Chinese state broadcaster in Great Britain. However, this does not prevent Chinese journalists from continuing to report from the country. For the most part, foreign TV channels are not allowed to operate in mainland China. However, a few dozen, including the British Broadcasting Corporation of Britain, have restricted broadcasting rights and can be shown in high-end apartment complexes and hotels. No comment has yet been received from CGTN or CCTV, but the move is likely to be met with retaliation in the UK and is sure to ease tensions between the two countries.

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