back to article BBC World Service in a jam as China blocks broadcasts

The BBC has claimed China is blocking shortwave radio broadcasts of its World Service, in what could be retaliation for its attempts to cover the recent hacking allegations against the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). In a no-nonsense statement, the Beeb said it “strongly condemns” the behaviour, “which is designed to disrupt …

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  1. Winkypop Silver badge
    Devil

    Ahh China

    Their produce is cheap and a bit shoddy, just like their brand of democracy.

    1. Silverburn

      Re: Ahh China

      Pretty sure they're not democratic - they're a single-party socialist republic.

      1. Elmer Phud

        Re: Ahh China

        one man*, one vote

        *'man' does not include 'woman'

        1. DragonLord

          Re: Ahh China

          You're not the man so you don't get the vote.

      2. boltar Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: Ahh China

        "Pretty sure they're not democratic - they're a single-party socialist republic."

        Whooosh......

        1. dotdavid
          Alert

          Re: Ahh China

          But they have democratic right up there in their name!

  2. Jamie Jones Silver badge

    Don't forget Freeview

    "The World Service has over 230 million listeners globally but is also broadcast on AM, FM and digital satellite and cable. ®

    ..... and terrestrial Freeview on channel 710, and I'd guess on DAB too....

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Don't forget Freeview

      "and I'd guess on DAB too...."

      Yes.

  3. LinkOfHyrule
    Paris Hilton

    Oh the irony

    They are moaning about someone else censoring their output - how about you remove those black rectangles from that Savil report thingy before you start whining like bitches about this eh!

    1. IanzThingz
      Paris Hilton

      Re: Oh the irony

      Don't understand the downvote, have an upvote, Sir :)

      Paris, because, well I believe she is uncensored.

      1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

        Re: Oh the irony

        Don't understand the downvote, have an upvote, Sir :)

        Paris, because, well I believe she is uncensored. ..... IanzThingz Posted Tuesday 26th February 2013 07:46 GMT

        Of course uncensored, IanzThingz, for there's nothing interesting or exciting to hide. The BBC though, are a different kettle of fish with a great deal to hide from close scrutiny and effective oversight lest it reveals sub-prime leadership and practically zero viable imagination for realisation.

      2. LinkOfHyrule
        Paris Hilton

        Re: Don't understand the downvote, have an upvote, Sir :)

        I don't mind the odd downvote or six - my votes are up and down like Paris's knickers anyway!

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Blocked worldwide

    So China is blocking the signal worldwide, affecting everyone or just within China?

    1. JaitcH
      Thumb Down

      Re: Blocked worldwide

      Just China.

  5. JaitcH
    Happy

    "impartial and accurate information to audiences around the world"

    This USED to be the case but now the BBC has a new slant on things following the F.O. financing review - I even noticed it before I read about it is a UK document.

    The broadcasters should bear in mind that radio receivers are predominantly FM and ASEAN has a target date to make all broadcast TV digital.

    Satellite receivers in both China and VietNam require 'operating licences' and, in China, a demonstrated 'need' for viewing overseas broadcasts. Visitors to China will notice a sparsity or satellite dishes and even WiFi access.

    VietNam only allows satellite reception from it's own satellites, which also include crap such as AXN, NatGo, Discovery, etc. Cable TV systems (soon to be trimmed to three national systems and four regional from the present forty systems) are fed through the Ha Noi 'monitoring'/censorship centre with a 15 MINUTE delay (the world ends at midnight - 15 minutes later in VietNam).

    As from later this year VN subtitles re to be provided on all foreign broadcast services in to the country.

    Access to BBC Vietnamese is easy and has minimum censorship here, locally.

    BBC, CNN have been eliminated from 'free view' on cable although Deutsch Wella, Australian Broadcasting and a French news channel continue. I guess they are 'politically reliable'.

    We have fibre optic cable feeds in larger centres and more remote areas can easily obtain satellite dish permits. A unit of the Cong An (Peoples Police) goes around checking on the direction of dishes to make sure you are pointed at the VN satellites!

    1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

      Re: "impartial and accurate information to audiences around the world"

      > A unit of the Cong An (Peoples Police) goes around checking on the direction of dishes to make sure you are pointed at the VN satellites!

      Must be scope for some geometrically-creative dish design there. There's no reason a dish has to be receiving only from the satellite it seems to be pointed at...

      1. An nonymous Cowerd

        Re: "impartial and accurate information to audiences around the world"

        quote "Must be scope for some geometrically-creative dish design there. There's no reason a dish has to be receiving only from the satellite it seems to be pointed at."

        There's a nice garden lamp available in Switzerland which has a concealed 50cm sat tvro dish inside some plastic-globe thing. It wouldn't be much use at C-Band but great for Ku-Band. (It gets around some Swiss planning laws)

        last time I tuned around the shortwaves I couldn't actually find the BBCWS - all the famous frequencies 648 5975 9410 15025 seemed to have gone, the obscure freq chart at http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/schedules/frequencies/ shows that they are however still broadcasting targeted areas. A quick check on Glenn Hauser's band scans (at http://www.w4uvh.net/dxld1308.txt) show that China is playing loud "crash & bang opera music" all over the place....but mostly aimed at anything Tibetan/Formosan

    2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: "impartial and accurate information to audiences around the world"

      now the BBC has a new slant on things following the F.O. financing review - I even noticed it before I read about it is a UK document.

      JaitcH,

      What new slant do you think the World Service has? I've not particularly noticed one, but then I only listen to the UK broadcasts on digital radio. Although I did used to listen regularly when I worked abroad 10 years ago.

      There have been 2 big changes in the last 10 years. Sometime in the middle of the last decade they merged all the news gathering into one big pot, rather than World Service being a totally separate unit. Although the stories are still selected differently, and they always shared the foreign correspondents anyway. The change to the FCO funding, was that it was cut off. Basically a disguised cut to the Beeb's license fee funding, by making it pay for the World Service and S4C (Welsh telly) out of its existing budget.

    3. Mayhem

      Re: "impartial and accurate information to audiences around the world"

      BBC, CNN have been eliminated from 'free view' on cable although Deutsch Wella, Australian Broadcasting and a French news channel continue. I guess they are 'politically reliable'.

      Well, I don't know about "Politically Reliable", but certainly Deutsche Welle provided a much better news service than the BBC or CNN when I regularly followed it back in NZ. Since moving to the UK I tend to use Al-Jazeera a lot more as well - it may have an obvious pro-Qatar slant, but it tends to be pretty unbiased about everything else. The BBC world service used to be much better than the UK BBC but since they merged the news desks it tends to be a bit more lightweight on world affairs.

      Hmm, in fact I'd have thought that CNN at least would be the very definition of "Politically Reliable", assuming your politics are those of the US government.

      1. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart
        Meh

        Re: "impartial and accurate information to audiences around the world"

        Am I the only one to read that as "Imperial and accurate information to audiences around the world"

  6. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. B-D
      WTF?

      Re: Reporting from inside the prc

      Removing the phallic fixation (what is the PRCs stance on homoerotic text being published from inside their territory?) All i got from that post is that you don't pay for a TV license, I don't have a pilots license yet you don't see me demanding fellatio from Stelios.

      Back on topic, I do believe I've solved it, it isn't the Peoples Liberation Army, its is all those Power Line Adapters every one is using to repurpose their mains supplies as networking lines, the RFI those things put out would shame any decent jammer.

    2. LinkOfHyrule
      WTF?

      Re: Reporting from inside the prc

      Be careful what you wish for - if the Chinese did suck your cock, all 1.something BILLION of them, you'd be red raw with nothing but a fleshy lolly stick of a knob by the time they've finished.

    3. Bernard M. Orwell
      Meh

      Re: Reporting from inside the prc

      Are you aware that currently the License Fee does not fund the BBC World Service?

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BBC_World_Service

      Apparently, that is due to change in 2014/2015 however.

    4. Bob McBob
      Coat

      Re: Reporting from inside the prc

      It's licence fee not license fee. Teaching English in China by any chance?

    5. Hollerith 1

      Re: Reporting from inside the prc

      Terra, you have a little problem, don't you, pal?

  7. Silverburn
    Happy

    BBC World Service in a jam as China blocks broadcasts

    Beeb strongly condemns disruption

    Lets hope they're not using the very same airwaves to communicate this condemnation...

  8. This post has been deleted by its author

  9. Androgynous Crackwhore
    Pint

    Poor sods...

    ..they're probably trying to protect themselves from that ghastly "BBC English" of Americanese dialect delivered in a Geordie twang. Shirley no one can blame them for that.

    It's not as if they could be objecting to factual content - everyone knows the beeb dropped all that old fashioned elitist crap years ago.

  10. HereWeGoAgain
    FAIL

    Why is Peter Horrocks silent about attempts to silence news from Iran?

    It is interesting that Peter Horrocks raises the subject of Iranian censorship. Meanwhile the West is busy shutting down all satellite broadcasts from Iranian news channels. What does Horrocks have to say about that? Nothing.

    "the BBC undertakes to provide impartial an d accurate information to audiences around the world." Except when than news is close to home, er Jimmy Savile. When it is buried and redacted.

    1. Michael B.

      Re: Why is Peter Horrocks silent about attempts to silence news from Iran?

      In the UK Press TV was taken off air for a license violation which they could have resolved pretty easily and with no fuss, but I guess fuss is exactly what they wanted.

      Frankly OFCOM treated Press TV with more restraint for its license violations than any other channel I've seen.

      More Info on this can be found here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2012/jan/20/iran-press-tv-loses-uk-licence

      1. HereWeGoAgain
        FAIL

        Re: Why is Peter Horrocks silent about attempts to silence news from Iran?

        It's not just Press TV.

        "European satellite provider blocks Iran TV. Eutelsat takes 19 Iranian TV, radio channels off the air as part of EU sanctions on Islamic Republic"

        This is no different from what the Beeb is accusing China of doing.

        1. Psyx

          Re: Why is Peter Horrocks silent about attempts to silence news from Iran?

          "This is no different from what the Beeb is accusing China of doing."

          Yes it is. The difference is that we're openly doing it for open reasons. Not just jamming it without telling anyone.

          That's quite a significant difference.

          1. HereWeGoAgain
            FAIL

            Re: Why is Peter Horrocks silent about attempts to silence news from Iran?

            Not really. The end result is the same.

            But, also, the reasons why Iranian TV channels have been blocked has not been announced. There is no comment from the satellite owners/managers. There is no word from any Western government on this.

            1. Psyx
              FAIL

              Re: Why is Peter Horrocks silent about attempts to silence news from Iran?

              "Not really. The end result is the same."

              That's a nonsense argument. By extension, we all die in the end, so murder should be legal, because the result is the same.

              "There is no comment from the satellite owners/managers."

              Apart from their spokeswoman, Vanessa O'Connor. So you're wrong there.

              "There is no word from any Western government on this."

              There's been plenty of word about the Iranian sanctions. So you're wrong there, too.

    2. Psyx
      Stop

      Re: Why is Peter Horrocks silent about attempts to silence news from Iran?

      "It is interesting that Peter Horrocks raises the subject of Iranian censorship. Meanwhile the West is busy shutting down all satellite broadcasts from Iranian news channels."

      There's a legitimate reason why Iranian TV is being shut down in this country: For being a bunch of lying bastards who have pretty much deliberately got themselves shut down so as to cause a fuss.

      1. HereWeGoAgain
        FAIL

        Re: Why is Peter Horrocks silent about attempts to silence news from Iran?

        " For being a bunch of lying bastards"

        So Parliament should not be broadcast either? Tony Bliar should be silenced?

        1. Psyx
          Stop

          Re: Why is Peter Horrocks silent about attempts to silence news from Iran?

          "So Parliament should not be broadcast either? Tony Bliar should be silenced?"

          Parliament operates under a code of conduct, and if MPs break that code of conduct then yes: They are punished by the House, up to and including losing their right to address the House. Likewise broadcasters obey a code of conduct and are punished by breaking it, up to and including their right to broadcast.

          Tony Blair is a different question. My personal opinion is that anyone dragging this country into two wars against the will of the majority of the population because he believes in an invisible sky fairy should be doing hard time, rather than being made a peace envoy to the Middle East.

  11. Bernard M. Orwell
    Stop

    Oh Auntie!

    Oh my Beeb! You appear to be under the impression that China is an open society dedicated to the concepts of free speech, enlightened public debate and a champion of its people, founded on the solid principles of open and transparent democracy.

    It isn't, I'm afraid.

    Kinda like you really.

  12. auburnman
    Pint

    Wouldn't like to be

    Those journalists detained by China after trying to film a PLA compound - I raise a glass to the balls of steel.

  13. twolegs

    has anyone listened to a WS broadcast?

    ...IF the blocked chinese world service broadcasts are anything like the 'dubious content' broadcast overnight in the UK on the Radio4 FM bands (timed between the shipping forecasts just after midnight and 5:20am), then I'd support the blocking of the transmissions in the UK as well!

    the content is dire - even Blue Peter and the CBBC kids channel has better more believeable content, reporters who giggle and laugh at the news, can't even pronounce their own names, sound asleep at times and have supposed interviews, which are canned (pre-recorded) with the original interviewer blotted out and the current presenter badly timing questions. Sometimes they get it wrong!

    the worst bit is when they drag some group in off the street to howl into a microphone under the pretence of being an ethnic or indigenous tribal music group - probably the cleaners from the Beeb canteen!

    goodness knows how Britain got to be Great - couldn't be the FO funded World Service that's for sure!

    no wonder the rest of the world thinks britain is well and truly US!

  14. MacroRodent Silver badge
    Boffin

    Some invention needed

    Wouldn't it be sweet if someone invented a way to broadcast globally so that it cannot be jammed and could be received inocuously: no big antennae, just a pocker-size device. Or maybe with a slightly modified PC or other common elecronic gear that the authorities cannot feasibly ban. A bit like in one of my favourite books, "The First Circle" by Solzhenitzyn, the engineers incarcerated in a special prison, and tasked with creating bugging gear for Stalin, surreptitiously used the provided electronic components to make illegal radios for listening to foreign broadcasts, and dismantled them when not in use.

    1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Some invention needed

      Just one question - how big is your pocker?

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    1. Psyx
      FAIL

      Re: Evil Empire

      "I don't blame China for blocking the BBC. I'd block the damned pro-labour propaganda machine too."

      The fact that Right-leaning people froth at the BBC for being Leftist, and Left-leaners whine that it's Right-leaning says to me that it's doing a good job of annoying the crap out of both sides, so is participating in worthwhile journalism.

      And if you're whining about news outlets being politically biased, why are you reading El Reg?

      Or is it that you only dislike bias that doesn't agree with your bias?

  16. You Are Not Free
    Mushroom

    Never really listened to the BBC world service but if the rest of the BBC is anything to go by then I'll bet the Chineese have had simply had enough of passive aggressive promotion of homosexuality and anti-male opinion.

  17. ForthIsNotDead

    Note...

    ...The Home Office currently funds the BBC World Service. It's the UK Government's propaganda arm.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: Note...

      Well, up to a point Lord Topper. Up to a point...

      In fact it's the Foreign Office. And that funding has either ended, or is about to end, as part of the Licence Fee settlement that the coalition negotiated with the Beeb on taking office. It was basically pay for the World Service and S4C, or get your charter re-negotiated early. Effectively a significant cut in funding.

      As for being a propaganda arm of the FCO, not always. Probably not even often. The Beeb has clashed with a lot of British governments over the years.

    2. This post has been deleted by a moderator

      1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

        Re: Note...

        Eadon: bollocks.

        A case in point; on the news the other day, there was a report from the BBC about how unemployment is now at a 'record low' in the UK. If this isn;t pro-government propaganda, I don't know what is. The actual story is that the government has taken away unemployment benefits from a record number of people, so that the figures for those out of wrork and able to claim JSA are at a record low.

        Say what you like about the 'lefties'; we haven't had a left-wing government for the BBC to be in favour of for a number of decades. The last Labour lot were about as left-of-centre as Stalin.

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