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China Bars New Foreign TV Licenses

(Posted August 5, 2005 by Leah Yoakum)

China will bar new foreign television channels and step up censorship of imported programming, the Culture Ministry announced, adding to a sweeping effort to tighten the communist government's control over popular culture.

In an effort to "safeguard national cultural safety," the government also will tighten controls over the 31 foreign television satellite broadcasters that hold licenses to operate in China, the ministry said on its Web site in a statement dated Wednesday.

The government also will ban new licenses for companies to import newspapers and magazines, electronic publications, audiovisual products and children's cartoons, the ministry said. It said new limits will be imposed on the number of foreign copyrighted products that Chinese companies are allowed to publish.

The announcement adds to a mounting campaign over the past two years to tighten control over popular culture and keep out material that communist leaders worry is spreading politically and socially dangerous influences.

The latest steps are meant to "strengthen management of imported cultural products, improve intellectual property protections and safeguard national cultural safety," the Culture Ministry said.

"No more licenses for foreign satellite channels will be issued," it said. It said regulators will "conscientiously strengthen management of foreign satellite channels that already have licenses."

The statement didn't give any details of what new content guidelines might be applied to foreign broadcasters.

Source: Yahoo! News

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