China clamps down on ‘foreign’ programmes

Not for the first time China is clamping down on the screening of non-Chinese programming. An order issued by China’s General Administration for Press and Publications, says that Chinese TV stations can only screen one foreign programme per year starting in January 2014.

Moreover any such programme cannot be screened in primetime (7.30pm-10pm) during the year the show or series was purchased.  Similar rules were announced in February and that ruling limited the number of foreign TV episodes to 50.

The English-language Shanghai Daily said the new restrictions were intended to crack down on the growing practice of buying the copyright of proven foreign shows like “Britain’s Got Talent,” then localizing them without further modification, spawning shows like “China’s Got Talent.”

Local reports say that the rules will mean an increase of locally-produced documentaries, education and ‘morality-building’ output.

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