Bloomberg News

China Issues Rules Limiting Use of Overseas-Made TV Series

February 14, 2012

Feb. 14 (Bloomberg) -- China told its television broadcasters to limit the number of imported series they show, the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television said in a circular posted on its website.

The new rules bar all foreign TV series from the prime-time hours of 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. and restrict overseas-made shows to no more than 25 percent of total programming time each day, it said yesterday. No import can exceed 50 episodes, Sarft said.

Today’s circular comes as President Hu Jintao seeks to reassert the Communist Party’s influence over Chinese culture and society, including in television and the arts. Hu wrote in an article published on Jan. 1 in Qiushi, the Communist Party magazine, that the West is using cultural means to divide China, which needs to be alert to this threat.

Domestic channels won’t be allowed to show too much programming from any one country or region, in order to better control of the ratio of foreign to domestic films, according to yesterday’s circular.

High-definition imported programming should be given preference to improve the quality of television, and trailers introducing foreign series must be limited to less than three minutes, the regulator said.

The agency also urged provincial television governance bodies to strengthen efforts to crack down on violators of this policy.

--Liza Lin. Editor: Joshua Fellman

To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Liza Lin in Shanghai at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Young-Sam Cho at

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