Primetime toon out

China says 'That's all folks!'

NEW YORK — China may consider squeezing foreign cartoons from coveted primetime slots as the world’s most populous nation tempers its embrace of Western media companies.

China’s national media bureau, the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT), made the proposal last week.

“One thing I know is that they are weird about animation. It may be about introducing children to Western values at a young age. Or it may be because they have a fairly strong local industry,” said one exec who does business in China for a major media company.

“They seem to be pulling back on everything,” the exec told Daily Variety. “In three years, I’m confident where we’ll be. Now, it’s dicey.”

At least 60% of broadcast animation on Chinese television must be domestic. Also, broadcasters can acquire only one foreign animation title for each one they produce in China.

An item in the June 3 China People’s Daily said that in a June 1 meeting, SARFT had indeed committed to expand the production and sale of homegrown cartoons. Paper said SARFT head Wang Taihua urged local authorities to take advantage of “preferential policies granted by central government and local governments to attract domestic capital — particularly private capital — “to participate in the development of (a) homemade animation industry.”

The Wall Street Journal online Tuesday reported that the bureau went further last week, proposing the primetime cuts.

Toon tightening talk comes as U.S. showbiz congloms see a decided cooling off in their relations with SARFT. Agency’s new leader seems to be reassessing the state of China’s media and entertainment industry after an unprecedented opening up last year led to a string of new joint ventures with Western companies, including Sony, Time Warner and Viacom.

It wasn’t immediately clear if a primetime toon ban would hit U.S. media congloms now or mostly mean a dimming of future prospects.

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Digital News from Variety

Loading