London [UK]: In an effort to clamp down content that lacks “editorial responsibility”, UK regulators have pulled the broadcasting license for China Global Television Network, or CGTN.
According to Sputnik report on Thursday, Ofcom 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 said.
According to CNN, the media regulator 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 as quoted by CNN.
The channel will be removed from UK airwaves with immediate effect.
CNN further stated that Ofcom 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.
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.”
The CGTN Washington bureau registered with the US Department of Justice as a foreign agent in 2019. Last year, the Trump administration said it would treat CGTN and four other Chinese media companies as extensions of Beijing’s government.
Sino-British relations have been in a tailspin over the past year over a multitude of issues. Firstly, London announced it would simplify visa procedures and the path to citizenship for Hong Kong residents who leave over increasing Beijing influence courtesy the draconian law.