BEIJING — China’s broadcasting watchdog has introduced a raft of restrictions on foreign skeins, capping series at 50 episodes and banishing them from primetime between 7 p.m. and 10 p.m., local media reported.

China is keen to boost its domestic programming but faces stiff competish from overseas content, especially from Korea and other Asian markets, which provide culturally similar shows that translate well for Chinese auds, including sudsers and historical dramas.

A circular from the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT) requires that the broadcasting time for imported TV series on any channel must not exceed one third of the time that channel dedicates to entertainment.

However, as part of efforts to boost the amount of high-definition skeins, the HD versions of overseas TV series will receive priority consideration, the circular said.

“SARFT will make efforts to avoid situations in which domestic channels lean too heavily on programming from one particular country or region,” the circular said.

The watchdog also urged provincial TV administrators to intensify supervision over all TV channels under their jurisdiction and to hike penalties for content providers who violate regulations.