Opportunities, challenges & censorship: British creative media and China

This event was held in partnership with the All Party Parliamentary BBC Group

Date: Tuesday, 13th January 2015
Time: 16.00-17.30
Venue: Committee Room 10, House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA

Chaired by Richard Graham MP (Chairman of the APPCG)

  • Raymond Li (Chinese Service Editor, BBC World Service)
  • Wenguang Shao (Senior Europe Advisor, Phoenix Satellite Television Holdings)
  • James Kynge (Emerging Markets Editor, Financial Times)
  • Fenella Barber (Director, China-Britain Business Council)

There are a wealth of opportunities for British creative media in China, and these opportunities are expanding, take for example British businesses such as Pinewood Studies and Silvergate Media, which have signed agreements with Chinese film and television companies to deepen UK-China media cooperation.

However, it is important to be aware of the challenges that come hand-in-hand with these opportunities, including the censorship often faced by international journalists and broadcasters working in China. Earlier this year, video streaming was banned for some American shows, though no British dramas were affected. Meanwhile arms of the BBC World Service are still blocked in China, including the English language shortwave radio and the Chinese language BBC website, and on occasion the English language BBC News website. Such challenges increased during recent demonstrations in Hong Kong, and the FCO’s latest six monthly report on Hong Kong noted the decline in press freedom there with concern.

This discussion will focus on these opportunities, and on the challenges and censorship that the British creative media sector faces in China.