Speed Reads

media wars

China bans BBC World News, after criticizing reports on COVID-19 and Uighurs

China announced on Thursday it is banning BBC World News from broadcasting in the country, a move British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said is "an unacceptable curtailing of media freedom" that will "only damage China's reputation in the eyes of the world."

China's State Film, TV, and Radio Administration accused BBC World News of "seriously" violating broadcast guidelines, failing to adhere to the requirement that "news should be truthful and fair" and "not harm China's national interests."

China has criticized the BBC for its coverage of the coronavirus and the way the Chinese government is treating the Uighurs, a mostly Muslim ethnic minority. Recently, BBC World News interviewed Uighur women who said that while in "re-education camps," they were raped, tortured, and sterilized. The BBC said it was "disappointed" by the ban, as it is "the world's most trusted international news broadcaster" and "reports on stories from around the world fairly, impartially, and without fear or favor."

Already, most Chinese people cannot watch BBC News in mainland China, as it is largely restricted and usually only available in international hotels and some diplomatic missions, the BBC said. Earlier this month, the British media regulator withdrew the license for state broadcaster China Global Television Network.