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China’s not-so-happy new year

Ban blocks b'casting of 'nonscientific' nature

BEIJING — Chinese authorities brought bad luck to broadcasters ahead of the Chinese New Year holiday on Feb. 9 by nixing ads for horoscopes and fortunetellers.

The State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (Sarft) posted the ban on its Web site. It forbids the broadcasting of “superstitious, nonscientific and pornographic” material.

The ban had an immediate effect: Internet company Sina Corp., one of China’s top portals, issued a profit warning for the first quarter of this year, forecasting decreased use of its paid text-messaging content during the busy New Year period.

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