BBC refutes claims that Chinese site appeases censors – Jemima Kiss
The BBC World Service has rubbished claims that a new language-learning site for China is offering politically neutral content to bypass government censorship.
A story published on 3 February by the Financial Times (FT) described the content of BBCChina.com.cn as ‘studiously uncontroversial’, avoiding any of the corporation’s hard-hitting news coverage so the site would bypass Beijing censors.
But in a letter published in the FT on Tuesday, World Service director Nigel Chapman said the FT had misrepresented the BBC’s policy on reporting news for Chinese audiences by implying that the site is a news service designed to appease Chinese authorities.
Instead, the new site is designed to teach English to Chinese speakers and is not a news site or a substitute for the main online service BBC Chinese.com – still blocked by the authorities for most users in China.