(Reuters) – British television channel BBC World News has been barred from airing in China, the National Radio and Television Administration said on Friday, a week after Britain’s media regulator revoked Chinese state television’s broadcast licence.
In a statement issued on the stroke of the Lunar New Year, the administration said an investigation found BBC World News’ China-related reports had “seriously violated” regulations, including that news should be “truthful and fair,” had harmed China’s national interests and undermined national unity.
The channel therefore does not meet requirements for foreign channels broadcasting in China and its application to air for another year will not be accepted, it added.
English-language BBC World News is not included in most TV channel packages in China but is available in some hotels and residences.
Two Reuters journalists in China said the channel had gone blank on their screens.
The BBC did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
On Feb. 4, British media regulator Ofcom revoked China Global Television Network’s (CGTN) licence to broadcast in the United Kingdom after an investigation found the licence was wrongfully held by Star China Media Ltd.
Reporting by Bhargav Acharya in Bengaluru and Tom Daly; additional reporting by Guy Faulconbridge; Editing by Catherine Evans and Toby Chopra