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China Bans Anime from Prime Time TV

posted on 2006-08-13 15:59 EDT
Beginning September 1

China has banned anime from prime time television. Starting September 1, animation produced outside of China will be barred from TV from 5 to 8 p.m., freeing the space for struggling Chinese studios.

Pokémon and American series like The Simpsons have become "hugely popular" with Chinese youth, according to the Associated Press. Communist leaders are reportedly frustrated that foreign productions have dominated Chinese TV despite efforts to build up local animation studios.

The foreign animation ban coincides with a larger effort by Chinese President Hu Jintao to strengthen government controls over television, movies, magazines, and web sites.

Amid an influx of anime in 2000, Chinese TV stations were ordered to limit foreign animation on their broadcast schedule. In 2004, the government specified that at least 60% of prime cartoons had to be produced in China. Recently, TV stations were told to limit all foreign programming and have their hosts use fewer English words on the air.

In February, Chinese regulators banned shows that mixed animation and live action, such as Blue's Clues and Who Framed Roger Rabbit.

In April, the government forced the cancellation of Rolling Stone China after its first issue. The magazine was a joint venture that incorporated the Chinese-produced Audio Visual World, as foreign magazines have not been granted licenses for Chinese distribution in several years.

Thanks, Jalal Siah.

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