China Disrupts NHK Nobel Prize Show

Discussion of Award to Chinese Dissident Blacked Out

TOKYO – A broadcast of public broadcaster NHK’s international news service covering the Nobel Peace Prize to be awarded to Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo was blacked out mid-transmission by China on Sunday.

A program discussing the award – to be presented on Friday in Oslo – was suddenly cut, according to viewers of the Japanese-language NHK World Premium in China.   

A spokesperson for NHK in Tokyo told The Hollywood Reporter that no explanation for the disruption had been given by China.  

Although most foreign news broadcasts are available only in residence compounds serving foreigners and in select luxury hotels, China's media monitors regularly block newscasts the one-party leadership finds threatening to its rule, some say on the theory that as China's wealth grows an increasing number of people can afford a satellite dish and are willing to pay for a box to descramble the illegal signals.

A further portion of the broadcast which was covering the Wikileaks allegations that hacking of Google had originated in China, was also disrupted.

The Chinese leadership has responded angrily to the award for Liu, criticizing the Nobel Peace committee’s decision and demanding that Japan, among other countries, boycotts the ceremony.

Liu is currently serving an 11-year prison sentence for advocating democracy.