U.K. regulators stripped China’s state TV channel of its national broadcasting license on Thursday, after an investigation cited lack of editorial control and links to China’s ruling Communist Party. The communications watchdog, Ofcom, said it revoked the U.K. license for China Global Television Network, or CGTN, an international English language satellite news channel. CGTN had been available on free and pay TV in the U.K. It did not respond immediately to requests for comment.
Regulators started looking into the station after receiving a complaint from a human rights group, Safeguard Defenders, calling for an investigation into its ownership. Ofcom is also continuing to investigate a slew of other complaints that it violated rules on fairness and accuracy. One was from a former British Consulate employee in Hong Kong who said he was detained and tortured by Chinese police for information on protesters. Another was by a British corporate investigator who said he was forced to confess while imprisoned in China. CGTN did not respond to requests for comment on those claims at the time, and Ofcom said its rulings are still pending. The decision adds to fraying ties between Britain and China, already strained by U.K. efforts to address alleged human rights abuses against the Uighur minority in Xinjiang and widen residency rights for Hong Kongers.