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China’s state broadcaster applies to France for license to broadcast in Europe after losing UK rights

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The state-run news broadcaster Chinas is seeking permission from French media watchdog to continue broadcasting in Europe after a UK regulator revoked its network license earlier this month.

Frances Conseil Suprieur de lAudiovisuel (CSA) confirmed to the Financial Times (FT) on Sunday that it was considering a request from China Television Global Network (CGTN) filed in December.

UK regulator Ofcom revoked the CGTNs license following an investigation which concluded that the network had no editorial responsibility for its content, rendering broadcasting in the UK illegal.

Unlike the UK, France does not have any law prohibiting state-controlled media from broadcasting in the country.

Still, a spokesman for media watchdog Frances told the FT that it would conduct additional analysis in its review in light of Ofcoms’ decision. CGTN launched its European headquarters in London less than two years ago.

The network hopes France will allow it to stay in Europe under the rules outlined in a decades-old treaty signed by the Council of Europe, a 47-member pan-European organization, France, the UK and China are all members.

The treaty states that an international broadcaster may broadcast in any member country for as long as it falls under the jurisdiction of a member. If the CSA determines that the CGTN falls under its jurisdiction, it may grant the network permission to continue broadcasting in the UK, as the treaty is separate and unaffected by Brexit.

The affair has increased tensions between China and the UK and has left other European countries in a difficult situation.

Some distributors broadcasting CGTN in Germany have temporarily stopped broadcasting the channel. Meanwhile, the channel is still available for internet broadcasting.

In response to Ofcoms’ decision, China’s National Radio and Television Administration announced earlier this month that it was banning BBC World News from continuing to broadcast in China and Hong Kong.

In a statement, BBC Director-General Tim Davie called Beijing’s decision deeply troubling.



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