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Cable booming in rural China

BEIJING — Cable TV has exploded in China in the past five years, creating an unwieldy market that has forced the government to try to rein it in.

Recently published statistics show that more than 10,000 rural cities and towns have already established cable TV systems in China, with more than 10 million rural households having access to cable. Rural cable is adding 2 million households annually.

The government is making concerted efforts to expand cable in the countryside. Advertisers are also beginning to take a look at the market.

In a related development, the government issued new management regulations that attempt to standardize use of a wide range of cable hardware, including head-end systems, delivery systems, signal encryption devices and satellite downlink systems.

The Ministry of Radio, Film and Television has named itself the sole agency with the power to approve the issue of permits allowing the manufacture, sales and use of cable equipment.

The permits are valid for two years from the date of issue.

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