The British regulator Ofcam revoked the CGTN license in early February because it concluded that the station was controlled by the Chinese Communist Party. British law does not allow a television station to be controlled by a political party. In addition, the Office received a number of complaints complaining about unbalanced and biased coverage of, for example, events in Hong Kong.
Shortly after the license was revoked, China banned BBC World News from broadcasting on its territory. Local authorities claimed that the BBC did not objectively inform about the covid-19 epidemic in the country.
In France, the laws are more lenient and do not prohibit political groups from operating television stations or other media. “CGTN could have more problems with what it broadcasts and the balance of content,” said French media expert Philippe Baily.
The CSA did not say when it would decide on the Chinese station’s request.
After revoking the British license, CGTN broadcasts over the Internet. But if Chinese television succeeds in France, it could probably return to satellite broadcasting in Britain as well. Television could benefit from an agreement that allows a regulated station in one member state of the Council of Europe to broadcast to other member states without the need for local approval.
The Council of Europe, which is independent of the European Union, has 47 member states, including France and the United Kingdom.
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