Select Committee on Foreign Affairs Minutes of Evidence

Supplementary memorandum submitted to the Foreign Affairs Committee by the BBC World Service

1.  Update on the position of BBC World in China, provided by BBC World

  BBC World has been granted a licence to broadcast in China for the first time by the Chinese State Administration for Radio, Films and Television. Following the granting of the licence, BBC World has also signed its most significant hotel distribution deal to date and its first in China with the China International TV Corporation (CITV). This agreement allows for the distribution of the BBC World to three to five star hotels, guesthouses and foreign apartments throughout China. Initially, the agreement will give BBC World access to around 60,000 hotel rooms, located in all the country's major cities, with potential for further expansion in line with the anticipated growth in the Chinese hotel and tourism industry.

2.  Death sentence for BBC journalist in Sierra Leone

  We believe that this refers to a former member of staff who left the BBC several years ago. He then started a radio station in Freetown and was arrested when the government re-took Freetown and sentenced to death. He was freed by the rebels in a counter-attack and spent some time in the bush. We believe he has now left the country. The BBC had no connection with him after he ceased working for us.

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Prepared 19 April 2001