While this appears to be a technical matter, the regulator stated that licensees should have written control over the licensed service. In addition, the political authorities could not control license holders. CGTN violates these two points because editorial oversight rests with the CCTV, which is ultimately controlled by the Chinese Communist Party. Ofcom stated that Star China Media is also the “UK CGTN Service Provider and not the Service Provider”.
The statement went on to say, “In addition, Ofcom was unable to apply to transfer the license to a company called China Global Television Network Corporation (CGTNC). This is because important information was missing from the application and we believe CGTNC will be prevented from obtaining a license as it is controlled. By an entity ultimately controlled by the Chinese Communist Party
Previously, CGTN was found to be violating Ofcom’s Broadcasting Code because coverage of Hong Kong’s protests was not adequately and impartially handled. This constitutes a “grave breach” of UK justice and data protection provisions. Ofcom has now to initiate a separate sanctions process against CGTN.
Ofcom’s decision is directed against the broadcasts by the state-owned China Broadcasting Corporation in Great Britain. However, it does not prevent Chinese journalists from continuing to report from the country. For the most part, foreign TV channels are not permitted to operate in mainland China. However, a few dozen, including the BBC, have restricted broadcast rights and can be shown in high-end apartment complexes and hotels. There is no comment yet from CGTN or CCTV, but the move in the UK is likely to face retaliation and is sure to fuel tensions between the two countries.