Prime-time ban for TV, radio made overseas is proposed

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Radio and television stations in China could be banned from broadcasting overseas-made movies and TV shows during prime time, according to proposals by the State regulator.

It has also suggested a complete ban on overseas news programs.

Draft regulations released on Thursday by the National Radio and Television Administration stipulate that broadcasters will not be allowed to air overseas audiovisual programs between 7 pm and 10 pm without approval from the State Council.

Importing and broadcasting overseas news and current affairs programs would also be made illegal, it adds.

The draft, which is open to public feedback until Oct 19, does not clearly define "overseas," or jingwai in Chinese. However, according to China's Exit and Entry Administration Law, jingwai refers to any region other than the Chinese mainland, indicating that the regulation would apply to movies and shows from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan.

Overseas-made programs including films, TV shows, animation and documentaries should not exceed 30 percent of the total daily broadcast time for their specific categories, according to the document.

The proposed regulations also state that the overseas programs carried by online content providers should not account for more than 30 percent of the available programs in one genre.

Movies and TV shows that are imported and distributed should enrich people's spiritual and cultural lives, contain global outstanding cultural achievements and promote equal exchanges of Chinese and foreign cultures, the administration said.

A strict ban is proposed for products made by individuals or overseas organizations engaged in activities that offend the dignity, honor and interests of China, undermine social stability, or harm relations between ethnic groups.

The document calls for radio and TV administrators at county level or above to set up comprehensive supervision systems and take the necessary measures to control and rectify any violations of the existing regulations.

If an organization breaks the rules on the importation or broadcast of a program, its legal representative could be summoned and issued a warning, the draft says, adding that in special circumstances, the authorities could terminate a broadcast or substitute the content.

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