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China sets restrictions to limit foreign TV shows

China’s Radio and Television Administration is set to limit foreign TV content across its platforms. 

The government agency is set to outlaw foreign TV shows in their entirety for prime time (7-10pm), and to place a 30% quota on streaming platforms for any imported content.

The new restrictions target foreign current affairs titles, as well as some feature films and animations.

Extended restrictions were released last week, further narrowing access to non-Chinese programming to prevent “negative influence on viewers”, according to the administration. The new rules are available for public consultation until October 20.

The rules also prohibit foreign talent such as writers, directors and actors from comprising more than one-fifth of total talent in Chinese TV dramas. Furthermore, a TV show’s writer and director cannot both be foreigners, and a lead foreign actor and actress are also outlawed.

Limits to foreign talent apply to television and not films, as feature length programming is regulated by the Publicity Department of the Communist Party’s Central Committee.