Part of complete coverage on
Chinese authorities pull plug on 'vulgar' foreign-made TV
October 22, 2013 -- Updated 0426 GMT (1226 HKT)
- Satellite broadcasters banned from buying rights to more than one foreign-made program per year
- Broadcasters previously told to cap imported television shows at 50 episodes
- Regulations aimed at tackling "excessive" entertainment and the lack of diversity
- Others are worried that the new regulation may drive away television viewers
(CNN) -- Chinese authorities have banned satellite broadcasters from buying the rights to more than one foreign-made program per year in a bid to tackle "vulgar" and "excessive" entertainment in Chinese television.
A statement from the State General Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film, and Television and published in Chinese state media on Sunday said the ruling would come into effect in 2014. It also stated that these foreign shows would not be allowed to air in prime time between 7:30 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. during the year the rights were purchased.
In February, regulators issued broadcasters with a directive capping imported television shows to 50 episodes, with no more than 25% of a station's total air time devoted to foreign-produced programing.
READ: China has more internet monitors than soldiers
Instead these key times in the day will be filled with what it described as "morality-building programs" with an educational value.
On China: Reform
Author: Corruption hurt Communist Party
China's 'rumor hunters'
The authorities in China have become increasingly concerned by the rising reliance on shows such as "Chinese Idol," a talent show that replicates the formula of the hugely popular "American idol." Broadcasters have found these types of programs easy to license and hugely popular with viewers and sponsors alike.
But Xia Chen'an, Deputy Editor-in-chief of Zhejiang satellite television, said in a statement that the new regulations would help to promote the originality of Chinese programs and tackle "excessive" entertainment and the lack of diversity. He said they would also address concerns about the "vulgarity" of Chinese television.
READ: Web giants join forces in crackdown on 'online rumors'
Not everyone agrees.
"Eventually, the Chinese television market will move to a trend of 'less but good,'" one senior media professional, who preferred not to be named, told CNN. "But regulating TV entertainment feels like something we would do during the Maoist era."
Others are worried that the new regulations may drive away television viewers, especially with rapid growth of the Internet and mobile television market.
Regulating TV entertainment feels like something we would do during the Maoist era.
Chinese media professional
Meanwhile, news of the tightened regulations sparked an angry response on China's popular micro-blogging service, Weibo, with many criticizing the move as arbitrary and ignorant.
"Cultural dictatorship, we can't do anything about it," said one user known as sanbuzhongdeqie.
"This is sick, are we going back to Cultural Revolution?" asked another called fengkuangdeshiziMisselva. "TV is useless now; fortunately, we still have computers," he continued.
"What a ridiculous regulation, it's clear CCTV is afraid of losing its status or fearful to competition, so they can only use despicable measures to suppress other satellite televisions," posted another known as xiaojiewu.
Doing business behind China's 'Great Firewall'
Part of complete coverage on
As China's annual parliamentary meetings kick off, Beijing gauges progress on key economic reforms outlined last year.
March 7, 2014 -- Updated 0719 GMT (1519 HKT)
For some local Hong Kongers, the local economy is being geared to the needs of cashed-up Chinese day-trippers, rather than locals.
March 6, 2014 -- Updated 1027 GMT (1827 HKT)
Vladimir Putin is seeking China's support in Russia's standoff with Western powers over Ukraine.
February 27, 2014 -- Updated 0824 GMT (1624 HKT)
What's the story with WeChat, the messaging app taking China by storm?
February 28, 2014 -- Updated 0501 GMT (1301 HKT)
Outgoing U.S. Ambassador to China Gary Locke speaks to CNN about his time in China.
February 26, 2014 -- Updated 0449 GMT (1249 HKT)
Limited investment options in China means real estate has been a popular choice for consumers looking to expand their portfolios.
February 27, 2014 -- Updated 0140 GMT (0940 HKT)
It's sexy, sophisticated, skintight, and started as a Chinese feminist statement. Here's the story of China's "cheongsam"
February 25, 2014 -- Updated 0911 GMT (1711 HKT)
Linkedin, the networking site for professionals, has done what few other foreign online services have achieved -- it has successfully set up its China operations.
February 25, 2014 -- Updated 0408 GMT (1208 HKT)
With its tradition of free speech, Hong Kongers pride themselves on their strong opinions -- but now local journalists say they are being shut up.
February 25, 2014 -- Updated 1019 GMT (1819 HKT)
Beijingers are once again choking as smog levels hit "heavy or even worse" levels in the capital and other cities across the country.
February 21, 2014 -- Updated 1349 GMT (2149 HKT)
China has urged U.S. President Barack Obama to call off a meeting at the White House with Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama.
February 19, 2014 -- Updated 1205 GMT (2005 HKT)
Far from being censored, the U.S. political drama 'House of Cards' is widely available in China -- and surprisingly popular.
February 19, 2014 -- Updated 0833 GMT (1633 HKT)
Like many companies in China, Fu Shou Yuan uses celebrities to attract clients. Except, in this case, they're dead.
February 19, 2014 -- Updated 0319 GMT (1119 HKT)
On the Reporters Without Borders map of global press freedom, China appears as one big black spot.
February 18, 2014 -- Updated 1312 GMT (2112 HKT)
The panda was whipped by zookeepers, was fed corn cakes instead of bamboo, and lived in a home full of feces, say visitors.
February 19, 2014 -- Updated 0212 GMT (1012 HKT)
A Miami artist has destroyed a $1 million Ai Weiwei vase as a "spontaneous protest."
February 17, 2014 -- Updated 0946 GMT (1746 HKT)
Two Russian thrillseekers scaled the unfinished Shanghai Tower in the city's financial district -- and lived to tell the tale.
Today's five most popular stories