back to article China clamps down on foreign telly on its channels

First it blocked the web, now it's going after TV. China has introduced tough new restrictions on channels broadcasting foreign-made telly and warned regulators to step up fines for any companies breaking the rules. The government’s State Administration of Radio, Film and Television made the announcement on Monday, explaining …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Time for us to block Big Brother?

    1. Steve Evans

      Where? WHERE? Tell me!

      I wanna emigrate!

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not that harsh...

    France has a similar rule for radio stations to try to protect their language from being overrun by English. I think the rule is 25% of songs have to be in French.

    Unfortunately they don't have the volume of production that the English speaking world does, so they end up playing some very weird and wonderful "album" tracks.

    I once remember hearing a rap song based on the old British WWI tune "Rolls out the barrel". My French friends were astonished when I started singing along in English, but not as much as I was when I discovered I was singing a perfect, real-time English translation. The rapper hadn't even bother to change the song at all, purely translated it!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Wasn't "roll out the barrel" originally a Czech song?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I have no idea, but I do have some Czech friends, so I think a bit of research over some beers this weekend is called for.

        Na zdraví

    2. BristolBachelor Gold badge

      In Spain

      ...the ministry of culture would like all TV programs that are broadcast with original language to have the original language by default; you'd have to change the language to get the Spanish!

      It probably won't help though. What often happens is that it will start in original language and then after an ad break, it will be Spanish only, or you will start watching a new series and then 1 of the episodes will be in Spanish only...

      1. Gerhard Mack


        I guess someone must have gotten tired of trying to learn English from the endless repeats of Diagnosis Murder and Flipper.

  3. xyz

    Imagine this lot with a chinese speaker....

    Wolowitz, Koothrappali and trying to do Kripke with the speech impediment.

  4. The Fuzzy Wotnot
    Thumb Up

    Sounds likes a bloody good idea! When can we do the same?

    Some of the great BBC documentaries aside, they can hardly learn anything from us and our TV output. Well apart from how to make shit reality programmes that appeal to the lowest common denominator bile-spewing Sun reader, how to spend more than you earn on tacky plastic gadgets you don't need and how to eat and drink crap until you can barely lift yourself off the sofa!

    1. NomNomNom

      british tv

      Someone who can cook has gone to another country to cook there.

      Someone wants to build a house. Someone wants to buy a house. Someone else wants to decorate a house. Someone wants to both build and decorate a house in another country.

      Someone is trying to sell relatively worthless antiques. Someone is trying to buy them.

      Someone has an unusually amusing medical disability.

      A bunch of people act hysterical in a room/jungle.

      A bunch of people act hysterical on a street/square.

      Someone with 7 legs is getting hysterical about selling carpets in another country.

      1. Lars Silver badge


        The stuff you produce in Britain is not the worst shown internationally.

        1. RAMChYLD


          A lot of the stuff produced in Britain are exponentially better than the crud churned out by many other countries internationally.

      2. Dan 55 Silver badge


        And yet it still beats endless repeats of Rex or dramas where the writers were mostly inspired by using CTRL-C and CTRL-V on the scripts of second-rate US shows.

  5. The Man Who Fell To Earth Silver badge

    The Great White North -> The Great People's Republic

    Some enterprising Chinese should take a queue from Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas & SCTV when around 1980 Canada started requiring all TV have a certain amount of Canadian content. Despite SCTV being all Canadian, Moranis and Thomas decided to have a "Canadian" segment, where they played Bob and Doug McKenzie a pair of Canadian brothers who hosted "Great White North". As Wikipedia tells it:

    "Great White North" (originally known as "Kanadian Korner") was a panel show that played upon Canadian stereotypes. Bob and Doug, two dim-witted beer-swilling brothers wearing heavy winter clothing and tuques, would comment on various elements of Canadian life and culture, frequently employing the interjection "Eh?" and derisively calling each other "hoser." Among the topics discussed were snow routes, the Canadian-built robot arm on the Space Shuttle, the inappropriateness of bedtime stories about dog fights, flat tires, and "why there aren't enough parking spaces at take-out doughnut shops."

    1. Steve Renouf

      or even...

      take a cue...

  6. Chad H.

    Play fair...

    Are Australia's local content quotas proof of a big-joey crackdown?

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Good for them

    "...The clampdown can be seen as the Asian nation's latest attempt to limit the free flow of information and ideas across its borders..."

    ...or maybe they just want to protect their own culture and not have their airwaves clogged up with the same moronic American shite and its home-grown copy-cat drivel, that the rest of us have to put up with.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Looks like

      you've never watched Chinese TV then..

  8. Eduard Coli


    Isn't the Chairman of the CPC the man in charge?

  9. FozzyBear


    Considering the crap that is aired during prime time nowadays I wouldn't mind the OZ government clamping down on the content either, However, the content I'm talking about is the reality shows. Just when I thought it was safe to turn on the TV again after bog brother finally got pulled. I am now bombarded with morbidly obese people across all channels trying to lose weight. I'm sorry is this what passes for entertainment?

    1. Chad H.

      The Oz government already did

      There are quotas in place for the main commercial TV channels for Oz made content, and Oz made drama.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    That's not Leonard!

    Hey, how come nobody noticed the most important part?! The thumbnail picture of the story ( is not of Leonard, as the file name claims, but of Sheldon! My trust in El Reg's quality of reporting is now in shambles.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Piracy as a cultural attache?

    So I suppose that all this rampant piracy is actually an invaluable service in the gloabl promotion of US culture and values? Not like the citizens of China will have many other options for kicking back their heels and watching American Idol after a hard day on the Foxconn assembly line.

  12. Qu Dawei

    stable door time

    As a Brit living in China (don't let the name mislead you), I have the dubious pleasure of being able to experience Chinese TV every day. It is an example of what the Chinese did when they responded, under Deng Xiao Ping, to pressures from various international bodies, to begin to introduce capitalist idels into the coubtry (albeit with a Chinese twist to them). What they did, as far as I can see, is select the very worst aspects of American TV and apply them to their own TV programs. So, we have numerous advert breaks (very badly signed, so sometimes it takes a second or two to realise that we are not seeing a continuation of the program, but the start of an advert, and similarly, we have an abrupt unsignalled change back to the program at the end of the advert session); some of the advert breaks go on for 15 minutes and contain just *one* advert for something which involves lots of shouting, repetition, and false claims - examples are mattresses, weight-reduction pills or equipment, complexion improvers, and so on; and there are very many trashy talent shows (like 3rd rate X factor shows), reality discussion shows, or unreal Korean romantic series that rot your brain.

    In my opinion, any change that reduces this stream of trash and high-intensity advertising would be an improvement.

    1. Chimp

      Most is pretty dire...

      ... but some of the historical dramas are good. Given that every man and his dog in the PRC has an opinion on the classics, TV dramas trend to hew close to cannon. Good way of brushing up on the details of some very good stories.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

  13. Qu Dawei


    I agree that many people have an opinion about the classics, and I think it demonstrates that the standard of knowledge within China of their classics amongst ordinary people seems to be much greater than the knowledge ordinary people in the Uk would have of UK classics.

    The historical dramas are often of high quality. I think if some enterprising person and company did the necessary work, they would prove entertaining if they could be dubbed into English and shown on UK television. For instance the Chinese version of Journey to the West, starring Liu Xiao Lin Tong (so not the most recent re-make though this has better special effects) is far far superior to the travesty that was shown on UK TV many years ago under the title of "Monkey", the most recent remake of "Outlaws of the Marsh" (with a title of "All Men are Brothers"), which was similarly ruined in the Japanese version shown on UK TV as "The Water Margin" is also of good quality. They mainatin the right amound of humour, and the way the plot is developed together with the acting is much better than the version shown on UK TV. They could easily do well, I think, if carefully dubbed into English and shown in the UK. So, it isn't all bad on Chinese TV by any means

  14. Crisp

    I liked Monkey

    Although Pigsy had his moments too.

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