×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

China Readies Law Restricting Foreign Television Content

The Chinese government is moving forward with plans to restrict foreign content on broadcast television and online video platforms.

The National Radio and Television Administration published drafts of new regulations Thursday. These are normally open to industry and public discussion for a period of 30 days.

The draft regulations will limit foreign content to 30% of daily airtime on all channels, and banish it completely from evening prime time, defined as 7-10 p.m.

The stated objective is to exclude content that presents as violence, terrorism, incitement to crime, and a threat to social stability and national sentiment. It is also intended to prevent content that “deviates from socialist core values.” The draft particularly targets foreign current affairs shows, but its scope also includes feature film and animation.

This is the first legislation introduced by the new regulatory body since oversight of the media and entertainment sector was shifted to the propaganda department of the Communist Party in March. But it fits with an established pattern of growing conservatism by Chinese media regulators, and also with expanded central government controls over the Internet.

In the past few months, new restrictions have been placed on live streaming and online gaming. China’s version of satirical show “Saturday Night Live” was temporarily taken off the air in the summer, and political satire is increasingly less welcome.

Zhuang Rongwen, who in August was appointed as head of the Cyberspace Administration of China, recently set out a similarly robust approach. Writing last month in political magazine Qiushi, he called for a “people’s war” and plans to rehabilitate China’s “cyber ecology.” He proposed the promotion of “positive energy” and the suppression of negative elements including wrong ideological trends, unflattering portrayals of China’s leaders and unapproved versions of China’s history.

The agency this month took measures to block the website and online application of Australia’s public broadcaster, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. It joins Bloomberg, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal in a group of overseas news organizations unavailable to ordinary Chinese web users.

Popular on Variety

More TV

  • Halsey, Ashley Nicolette Frangipane. Singer Halsey

    Emmys: Halsey to Sing In Memoriam Tribute at Sunday's Ceremony

    Pop star Halsey has been tapped to perform during the Emmy Awards on Sunday, while comedians Adam Devine and Thomas Lennon will also contribute to the telecast. With no Emmy host this year, producers Don Mischer Prods. and Done+Dusted are relying more on presenters and other contributors to keep the show moving, Halsey, whose hits [...]

  • Bianna Golodryga CBS News

    Bianna Golodryga Joins CNN in Full-Time Role

    Sometimes, it pays for news anchors to take root in more than one organization. When Bianna Golodryga joined CBS News in the fall of 2018, she carved out a unique role for herself. She would work as a co-anchor on “CBS This Morning” while maintaining a position she had already established as a contributor to [...]

  • Lower lakes with small waterfalls, Plitvice

    Beta Film Boards Refugee and Drug Trafficking Thriller Series 'Amnesia'

    Beta Film, whose Mipcom lineup includes “Agent Hamilton,” “Babylon Berlin” and “Medici: The Magnificent,” has partnered with Croatian production company Drugi Plan on “Amnesia,” a six-hour thriller series about refugee and drug trafficking in the Southeast of Europe. The move adds to Munich, Germany-based Beta Film’s portfolio of Central and East European series, a growing [...]

  • Reed Hastings seen on day one

    Reed Hastings on the Streamer Wars: 'It's a Whole New World Starting in November'

    After dominating the subscription streaming scene for so long, Netflix is girding for a new phase in the SVOD wars with the entry of more deep-pocketed players like Disney and Apple, CEO Reed Hastings said Friday. “While we’ve been competing with many people in the last decade, it’s a whole new world starting in November…between [...]

  • BBC ITV BritBox Streaming

    Viacom's Channel 5 and Comedy Central Join BritBox Ahead of Its U.K. Launch

    Viacom-owned Channel 5 and Comedy Central have joined BritBox, the “best-of-British” subscription streaming service created by the BBC and ITV. The platform, already available in North America, is due to launch on home turf in Britain by year’s end. Under the deal with Viacom, shows from the U.K.’s Channel 5 can appear on BritBox following [...]

  • The-Head

    Behind the Scenes With Mediapro’s Antarctic Thriller Series 'The Head'

    On Sept. 13, the cast and crew of Mediapro’s upcoming dramatic thriller “The Head” gathered at a swanky Santa Cruz de Tenerife hotel to kick off promotional duties for this English-language series, which will wrap shooting later this month. It was day 50 of production, and the cast had been working late, rushing to get [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content