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September 5, 2018 - Updated on September 10, 2018

Australian public channel website ABC blocked in China

PHOTO: ABC / POWER AND INFLUENCE: THE HARD EDGE OF CHINA'S SOFT POWER
Australian public channel ABC complained on Monday about the recent blocking of its website in China. Reporters Without Borders (RSF) denounces the increasing censorship of foreign media in China.

Access to the website and mobile applications of Australian public channel ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) has been cut off in China for ten days, said the board of the group on Monday, September 3rd.


The Central Cyberspace Affairs Commission, which is controlled by Chinese President Xi Jinping, confirmed that it has classified ABC as a media "damaging [China’s] national pride" that should be banned.


ABC’s critical coverage of China, especially its publication of a 2017 report denouncing the growing influence of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in Australia, appears to have triggered Beijing’s recent shutdown of the Australian channel.


Reporters Without Borders (RSF) denounces China’s increasing censorship of foreign media. "Given the Chinese government’s stranglehold on the media, foreign websites such as ABC are the only platforms providing independent information to Chinese citizens," reminds Cedric Alviani, director of the RSF East-Asia bureau. "By adding ABC to its blacklist, which already counts more than 8,000 domain names, Beijing again demonstrates its commitment to keep Chinese citizens in ignorance."


According to official sources, over two million people are involved in China’s censorship and internet surveillance effort. Its "Great Digital Wall" keeps 800 million Chinese netizens away from countless foreign news websites, including Wikipedia, the New York Times, BBC and Bloomberg News.


China stays at the bottom of the 2018 RSF World Press Freedom Index (176th out of 180 countries).