BEIJING – China’s internet regulation authority confirmed on Monday that the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s website has been blocked for flouting national laws.
“China’s internet is fully open. We welcome internet enterprises from all over the world to provide good information to the netizens of China,” the Cyberspace Administration of China said in a statement to the ABC.
“However, state cyber sovereignty rights shall be maintained towards some overseas websites violating China’s laws and regulations, spreading rumours, pornographic information, gambling, violent terrorism and some other illegal harmful information which will endanger state security and damage national pride,” it added.
Access to the public broadcaster’s website (www.abc.net.au), which has been offering news services in Mandarin for a year, stopped in China on Aug. 22, joining other media that have been blocked in the country, including the BBC, The New York Times and Spain’s El Pais.
When asked about the ban, new Australian prime minister Scott Morrison said it was not in the hands of his government to decide what could be broadcast or published in China.
The controversy comes at a time of escalating tensions between Beijing and Canberra over several issues, exemplified by Australia’s recent ban on Chinese tech giants Huawei and ZTE from providing 5G technology for the country’s wireless networks.