China’s TV, film sector to fall under Government control
Rebecca Hawkes
| 21 March 2018

China’s film and television industry is to be regulated by the Communist Party’s propaganda department, following a far-reaching regulatory shake-up in Beijing.

The State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SAPPRFT), which previously oversaw the industry, has been abolished. Media control will now be more tightly aligned with the Party’s values under the country’s President Xi Jinping.

The Party’s publicity department would play a “special and important role in propaganda ideology and cultural entertainment”, according to a notice from the ruling Party’s Central Committee.

“After the adjustment, the central department will manage all film administrative affairs, guide and supervise film production, release dates and screening work, organise the censorship of film contents, guide and coordinate major film events, overseas co-productions, and internal cooperation and exchange regarding film import and export,” the document said.
The changes, which were approved on Tuesday (21 March), are effective immediately.

The go-ahead has also been given for the creation of a new broadcaster called Voice of China, which will comprise existing state TV and radio stations including China Central Television (CCTV), China Global Television Network, China National Radio and China Radio International.

Also falling under the remit of the publicity department, Voice of China will “guide hot social issues, boost multimedia integration and development, strengthen international communication, and tell good China stories”.

The changes to the regulatory framework were first presented to the National People’s Congress for deliberation last week. The shakeup is part of a far-reaching Government overhaul to eliminate bureaucracy and to increase involvement by the president and Party leaders in all aspects of policymaking.