Britain’s clips China’s soft power: revokes CGTN’s license to operate within the country

In a statement on Friday, China’s foreign ministry said, it is “firmly opposed” to Britain’s decision to revoke the license for its state media CGTN to operate within the country.

The development comes in the wake of the UK’s communications regulator Ofcom revoking the license of China Global Television Network (CGTN) to be able to broadcast in the country midst rising concerns backed by an investigation that concluded that Ofcom did not exercise editorial control over CGTN’s English language arm in broadcasts.

CGTN does not meet the legal requirement to hold a license, said Ofcom.

Following the investigation China’s effort to transfer the licence to CCTV were also blocked given its affiliation with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

At a news briefing, Wang Wenbin, a spokesman for China’s Foreign ministry said China reserves the right to take necessary action.

“Our investigation showed that the licence 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 licence to China Global Television Network Corporation because it is ultimately controlled by the Chinese Communist Party, which is not permitted under UK broadcasting law,” said a spokesperson for Ofcom while adding, “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 licence for CGTN to broadcast in the UK.”

In a statement Shadow Secretary of State for Digital, Culture Media and Sport, Jo Stevens said: “All too often TV channels run by foreign states have flagrantly breached the broadcasting code, and the findings against CGTN were damning. Ofcom was right to act in line with its duty to make sure those that hold a licence to broadcast in this country are fit and proper”.

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