From Sept. 1, Chinese children will be able to watch domestic
cartoon programs during 5 PM to 8 PM every day, according to a
regulation by China's TV watchdog.
The State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT)
has decided to ban all foreign cartoons during the "golden hours",
reported the Beijing News on Sunday.
No foreign cartoons or programs of introducing foreign cartoons
can be shown during the period on all domestic cartoon channels and
children channels, the regulation says.
Only after 8 PM can foreign cartoons appear on TV, it
The regulation has been issued to local TV stations but the
administration has not made it public, according to the
Cartoon programs co-produced by domestic and foreign producers
will have to get approval from SARFT to show during 5 PM and 8 PM
from Sept. 1.
The first foreign cartoon introduced to China was a Japanese
cartoon called "Astro Boy" series in 1981. Since then, a large
quantity of foreign cartoons crammed into China.
In 2000, a regulation by the SARFT required local TV stations
get approval from the administration and set quotas for imported
cartoons to show on TV. By that time, China's cartoon programs had
nearly been monopolized by Japanese cartoons.
In 2004, the SARFT issued another regulation, requesting for at
least 60 percent of cartoon programs aired in a quarter to be
domestic products. The regulation resulted in a sharp decrease of
foreign cartoons on local TV.
Incomplete surveys show about 80 percent of interviewed Chinese
children like foreign cartoons and a certain number of them said
they didn't like domestic cartoons, according to the Southern
With the effects of regulations and the establishment of 15 film
and cartoon production bases in recent years, domestic cartoon
industry attracted huge civil investment, resulting in a sharp rise
of cartoon programs in 2005.
However, due to the poor popularity among children, domestic
cartoons found it hard to show during "golden hours", and even had
troubles to retrieve the production costs.
The new regulation aimed to save domestic cartoon industry by
"clearing up the sky" with preferential policies, said an editorial
of the Southern Metropolis News on Sunday.
Hopefully the quality of domestic cartoons may improve after
several years of internal competition, but the move might hurt the
interests of children, which in fact was "a deprival of consuming
rights of the public", it argued.
Moreover, it was the content of domestic cartoons that lost the
audience, said the editorial, therefore improving the creation
environment of cartoon makers is more crucial than such
Finally it said it was reasonable and necessary to introduce
quota system into the cartoon competition to protect the domestic
industry, but the complete prohibition of foreign cartoons and
compulsory screening of domestic ones during popular hours was
"This is a worrying, short-sighted policy and would not solve
the fundamental problems in China's cartoon industry," it
(Xinhua News Agency August 13, 2006)