5 August, 2005

china limits foreign media

EditorsWeblog is blogging that China will limit media licenses for foreign companies and more generally "exercise tighter control over the country’s cultural life."

On Tuesday China announced that it will tighten restrictions on foreign newspapers, television programs, books and performances. The goal is to strengthen control over China’s cultural life. According to the International Herald Tribune the new rules state: "Import of cultural products contrary to regulations will be punished according to the circumstances, and in serious cases the import license will be revoked. In the near future, there will be no more approvals for setting up cultural import agencies."

China will limit television companies as well as foreign-owned print media businesses as Chinese officials seek to address outside influences on the nation. The previously cited IHT article opines that:

The regulations may also be part of an effort to repair what one Chinese report recently called the "cultural trade deficit." In recent years, China has authorized publication of more than 12,000 foreign books in Chinese translations, but only 81 Chinese books have secured foreign publishing rights, said the report, which appeared in China Comment, a magazine run by the state-run Xinhua news agency.

It’s unclear just how great the impact on foreign media businesses will be, but for now it is clear that bids by Viacom and Disney, among others, are on hold. If the government is trying to balance the 12,000:81 publishing ratio, it has its work cut out for it. Yet China has a strong academic community and as interest in the country grows, there will only be more demand from foreigners to hear about life there.

by @ 10:26 am. Filed under Culture, China, Asia, East Asia, Economy, Northeast Asia, Media, Censorship

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