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Changes in Asian Tv

  • Date Submitted: 03/01/2013 08:16 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 24.9 
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These changes in the Asian television landscape set the tone for China’s media reform. Chinese
television started to strive for financial autonomy in the early 1980s as the party-state cut off media
subsidies. The early 1990s marked Chinese media’s “plunge into the deep ocean of commercialism” (Lee,
He & Huang, 2006, p. 598). In October 2002, the 16th Party Congress, anticipating intensified
international competition as a result of China’s accession to the World Trade Organization, officially
endorsed a market-driven “culture industry” (Zhao, 2008). Furthermore, to energize China’s
undercapitalized and poorly managed TV stations, the State Administration of Radio, Film, and Television
(SARFT) and the Department of Commerce announced in November 2004 that foreign companies could
form joint ventures with Chinese stations, especially in the area of producing films and TV dramas.1
For Chinese television, these policy changes bring both opportunities and competition as they
enable Chinese media practitioners to establish transnational affiliations to broaden and reorganize the
domestic market. These transnational affiliations are indicative of, in Zhao and Schiller’s words (2001),
the reintegration of China’s political economy with transnational capitalism. Chinese intellectuals predict
that, in less than eight years, foreign and private investments will comprise up to 50% of the entire
Chinese TV industry (Changshun Shi, 2005). Moreover, as a result of both the state’s calculated
admission and transnational broadcasters’ proficiency in “gray distribution”2 that goes beyond approved
landing cities, 31 transnational satellite channels have broken into the Chinese market and 30 million
Chinese households can receive their programs (Ventani, 2005).3 These channels include CETV (AOL Time
Warner), Phoenix Satellite Television (News Corp.), Star TV (News Corp.), BBC (British Broadcasting
Company), CNBC (U.S. Cable Network), etc.
Excited and worried at the...


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