Feeds

China clamps down on foreign telly on its channels

Just in case The Big Bang Theory sparks revolution

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

First it blocked the web, now it's going after TV. China has introduced tough new restrictions on channels broadcasting foreign-made telly and warned regulators to step up fines for any companies breaking the rules.

The government’s State Administration of Radio, Film and Television made the announcement on Monday, explaining that no more than a quarter of a TV station’s daily output should be non-Chinese and that no foreign-made programmes could be broadcast during the primetime hours of 7pm-10pm.

Other limitations include no more than 50 episodes of one particular foreign TV drama can be broadcast and any trailer introducing a foreign TV show must be limited to three minutes. There are also restrictions on the amount of content coming from one particular country.

There was good news for HD fans in the country, however, with the regulations stating that high definition version of foreign TV programmes should be prioritised.

"Regulatory bodies around the country must increase their supervision over foreign television shows broadcast on television stations at all levels, and increase fines levied for those who break the rules," the notice warned, according to Reuters.

The clampdown can be seen as the Asian nation's latest attempt to limit the free flow of information and ideas across its borders and reassert homegrown – and strictly vetted – cultural output.

President Hu Jintao has kept an eagle eye on the creeping insurgence of western culture, presumably because he’s worried that the people will rise up if inspired by the messages of liberty and democracy which suffuse The Big Bang Theory or Desperate Housewives.

Such shows have been blocked online in China for some time now, although eager foreign TV fans in the country can still get their fix from pirated DVDs.

China has of course done pretty well so far in limiting the content its citizens are allowed to access - its Great Firewall of China web filtering project is so successful that regimes including Iran are building their own versions. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express
Series finally hits stride, but Clara's U-turn is baffling
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.