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BBC website blocked in China

MUMBAI: BBC’s English-language website has been blocked across China. Terming the move as ‘deliberate censorship’, BBC states that no other major news organisation is suffering a similar block in the country.

As per reports, no reasons have been given as to why the BBC’s site is inaccessible presently. BBC Global News director Peter Horrocks said that BBC has been complaining to the Chinese authorities about the matter.

China has been very sensitive when it comes to news outlets reporting on the recent pro-democracy protests in its special administrative region Hong Kong. Chinese authorities earlier shut down photo-sharing app Instagram to stop images and news of the Hong Kong protests reaching people within China. Instagram is still blacked out in large parts of China.

Since the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the BBC’s English-language site has been generally available. However, other BBC services including its Chinese language news website has been blocked largely since it was launched.

BBC World TV also suffers intermittent blackouts particularly when reporting China stories.

Horrocks said, “The BBC provides impartial, trusted news to millions of people around the world, and attempts to censor our news services show just how important it is to get our accurate information to them.”

The last time the BBC’s English-language website was disrupted was during the corporation’s coverage of activist Chen Guangcheng’s escape from house arrest in April 2012.